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NCAA Football

College Football Week One: Winners and Losers

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My weekly blog is back for another season. Week one had its best opening matchups ever. We saw standouts, breakouts, comebacks and mayhem. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. Houston Cougars: Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. threw for two touchdowns. Safety Brandon Williams returned a missed field goal 109 yards for the touchdown as the Cougars shocked the Oklahoma Sooners 33-23. If they can beat the Louisville Cardinals later in the season and win the American Athletic, they will definitely make a case for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide: The Tide overcame a slow start as quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for two touchdowns as the Tide defeated the USC Trojans 52-6. Guess the Tide are going to be just fine.
  3. Wisconsin Badgers: Running back Corey Clement rushed for one touchdown. Quarterback Bart Houston overcame two interceptions and threw for 208 yards. While the defense caught two interceptions of their own as they stunned the LSU Tigers 16-14 at Lambeau Field. The best win in the Paul Chryst era.
  4. Georgia Bulldogs: In his first game back from a gruesome leg injury, running back Nick Chubb rushed for 222 yards and two touchdowns helping the Dogs defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels 33-24. A solid first win in the Kirby Smart regime.
  5. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson: Jackson threw for 286 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the first half (yes, you read that right) as the Cardinals destroyed the Charlotte 49ers 70-14. Jackson could be a Heisman dark horse.
  6. Pittsburgh running back James Conner: Conner had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch as the Panthers defeated the Villanova Wildcats 28-7. It was his first game back from not only a MCL injury but also successfully battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. What an inspirational performance, bravo James!!
  7. Central Florida Knights and Kansas Jayhawks: Two teams that went winless last season got their first wins on Saturday. The Knights shutout FCS’ South Carolina State Bulldogs 38-0, it’s also the first win for new head coach Scott Frost. While the Jayhawks defeated FCS’ Rhode Island Rams 55-6. The Jayhawks’ fans stormed the field, showing how bad it’s been in Lawrence.
  8. Texas Longhorns: The two quarterback system worked for the Horns as Shane Buechele threw for two touchdowns. While Tyrone Swoopes rushed for three including the game-winner as the Horns defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 50-47 in a double overtime thriller. It’s their first win over the Irish since 1970. It’s not out of the question to say that the Horns could be one of the favorites in the Big 12.

Losers:

  1. Oklahoma Sooners: After a quick start, the Sooners just couldn’t get more scoring opportunities. As they were held to just 70 rushing yards. While their defense gave up too many big plays in their loss to Houston. We’ll see how the Sooners respond.
  2. LSU Tigers: Questionable play-calling and late turnovers cost the Tigers against Wisconsin.
  3. Pac 12: It was a mixed bag for the conference, though there were wins by Utah, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona State, and California was off. The Oregon State Beavers didn’t slow down the Minnesota Golden Gophers 30-23. Quarterback Josh Rosen’s three interceptions cost the UCLA Bruins in their loss to the Texas A&M Aggies 31-24 in overtime. The Washington State Cougars’ defense gave up over 600 total yards in their loss to FCS’ Eastern Washington Eagles 45-42. While the Arizona Wildcats just couldn’t stop BYU quarterback Taysom Hill and the Cougars, losing to them 18-16 on a last second field goal.
  4. Mississippi State Bulldogs: The Bulldogs weren’t able to hold onto a 17-0 halftime lead as South Alabama quarterback Dallas Davis led his team down the field for the go-ahead touchdown to wide receiver Gerald Everett with less than a minute left. Also a missed a 28-yard field goal by kicker Westin Graves led to the Bulldogs’ loss to the Sun Belt’s Jaguars 21-20. It’s the Jaguars’ first win against a SEC team.
  5. Kentucky Wildcats: Their best player Stanley “Boom” Williams was held to just 94 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. While their defense gave up 520 total yards including 262 rushing yards in their loss to Conference USA’s Southern Mississippi Eagles 44-34. If the Cats can’t make it to a bowl game, there could be some changes made.
  6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Despite tying the game, questionable decision-making late cost the Irish in their loss to Texas.

 

Storylines Going into Week Two

Kentucky will try to bounce back against Florida in an early SEC matchup. TCU hosts Arkansas as old SWC foes collide. State rivals clash Penn State goes to Pittsburgh, BYU meets Utah and California after a week off faces San Diego State.

Texas Tech visits Arizona State in what could be a high-scoring affair. Washington State faces Boise State.  North Carolina goes to Illinois. Virginia Tech and Tennessee battle at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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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