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NCAA Football

Can Clemson Win It All?

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On Saturday night, Head Coach Dabo Swinney, Heisman trophy candidate Deshaun Watson, and the rest of the Clemson Tigers will take the field in Jordan-Hare Stadium to battle with the Auburn Tigers in the first weekend of the college football season. This not only marks the start of the season for Clemson, but it also marks the start of their quest for the College Football Playoff. After suffering defeat in the National Championship Game last year, the Tigers are out for revenge.

Clemson is ranked number two in the preseason AP Poll and for good reason. The Tigers return talent on both offense and defense. Not to mention, some of the freshmen that will contribute this year. The returning talent is led by possibly the best quarterback in the nation, Deshaun Watson. Although Watson can move well, do not get him confused as a run first quarterback. Watson is a highly talented pocket passer, who makes quick decisions, and delivers accurate passes with his piercing throws. Depending on which way he decides to strike, Watson is deadly through the air or on the ground.

However, he is by far the only talent on the Clemson roster. Key returning starters for the Tigers include tight end Jordan Leggett, running back Wayne Gallman, linebacker Ben Boulware, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, and back from an early season ending injury last year, wide receiver Mike Williams. Two excellent specialists also return in kicker Greg Huegel, and punter Andy Teasdall. High energy guys like Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables should find life a little easier with the returning talent on the roster.

The schedule is extremely manageable for the Tigers, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. A few games stand out, in particular, Auburn, Louisville, and Florida State. Opening night against an SEC opponent in a hostile environment can be a challenge no matter what the perception around Auburn is. However, I see Clemson getting the season started off on the right foot, and Watson having a big night.

One possible stumble for Clemson is a home game against the Louisville Cardinals. The Tigers will be coming off a physical game against Georgia Tech, and will have to recharge quickly to be ready for Louisville and their underrated quarterback, Lamar Jackson. The Tigers should win, and the Esso Club will be rocking late into the night.

The biggest game on Clemson’s schedule and perhaps the biggest game of the regular season in college football will be the Florida State game. The Seminole fans will be busting at the seams as their team takes the field and the flaming spear gets launched into the center of Doak Campbell Stadium. Florida State is highly talented and they return their own Heisman candidate in running back Dalvin Cook. In all likelihood this game will determine part of the college football season landscape, and it could possibly be a game for the ages.

Clemson has all the pieces in place to make a historic run, the coach, the quarterback, the talent, and a workable schedule. The only question is, can they handle the pressure?

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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