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College Football Week Eight: Winners and Losers

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With the first college football playoff standings to be released next week, some teams stepped up to the challenge while others took a step back. Also if you were a running back, you had a very good week. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide: Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown. Defensive end Jonathan Allen’s fumble returned for a touchdown helped the Tide defeat the Texas A&M Aggies 33-14. What else can we say about Alabama at this point?
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions: Cornerback Grant Haley’s blocked 60-yard field goal for a touchdown capped off a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter for the Lions as they upset the Ohio State Buckeyes 24-21. It’s the Lions’ first win over a top two team while unranked since 1964. It’s also their first win over the Buckeyes since 2011. Definitely the Lions’ best win in a while.
  3. LSU running back Leonard Fournette: After being off for three weeks due to injury, Fournette rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers pulled away from the Ole Miss Rebels 38-23. Welcome back Mr. Fournette.
  4. Utah running back Joe Williams: Williams rushed for 332 yards and four touchdowns helping his Utah Utes defeat the UCLA Bruins 52-45. Remember earlier this season, he retired from football but came back to help his team, suffice to say head coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah fans are happy he did.
  5. West Virginia Mountaineers: Quarterback Skyler Howard throw for four touchdowns. Running back Rushel Shell rushed for 117 yards. The defense had three turnovers as they held off the TCU Horned Frogs 34-10. Mountaineers are a very quiet 6-0.
  6. Auburn Tigers: The Tigers rushed for 543 yards (yes, you read that right)  and seven touchdowns as the Tigers stunned the Arkansas Razorbacks 56-3. Don’t look now but the Tigers have won three straight.

A couple of shout outs, first to the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Tech Red Raiders for giving us the occasional (albeit entertaining) defense is optional game as the two teams combined for an NCAA record 1,708 total yards of offense. The Sooners outlasted the Red Raiders 66-59.

Another one to San Diego State running back and the nation’s leading rusher Donnel Pumphrey Jr. who rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns (breaking two school records that were held by Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk) as the Aztecs easily defeated the San Jose State Spartans 42-3.

Last one to Wyoming running back Brian Hill who rushed for 289 yards and three touchdowns as the Cowboys defeated the Nevada Wolfpack 42-34.

Losers:

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes: A blocked punt, a blocked field goal that led to the go-ahead touchdown and quarterback J.T. Barrett being sacked twice late doomed the Buckeyes in their loss to Penn State.
  2. Texas A&M Aggies: The Aggies weren’t able to get their offense going nor could they stopped Bama’s in their loss to the Tide.
  3. Houston Cougars: For some quarterbacks passing for 241 yards would be a great day, but if you’re Greg Ward Jr., it was 100 below his average as he and the Cougars were slowed down by the SMU Mustangs 38-16. For the Mustangs, this is their first win over a ranked team in five years, also the highest ranked team they’ve defeated since the Pony Express days of the early ‘80s. As for the Cougars, it’s now official, no college football playoff and also likely no conference title for them.
  4. BYU Cougars: The Cougars caught five turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize as they lost a heart breaker to the Boise State Broncos 28-27. This is the second time this season the Cougars defense forced five turnovers, they lose that game, too.
  5. Arkansas Razorbacks: The Hogs couldn’t slow down Auburn’s rushing attack, and they couldn’t get theirs going as they only had 25 rushing yards.
  6. Texas Longhorns: Missed opportunities and even more mistakes were the Longhorns’ undoing in their loss to the Kansas State Wildcats 24-21. It’s their fourth straight road loss, I don’t think Longhorns fans know what to say at this point.

Storylines Going Into Week Nine:

Virginia Tech goes to Pittsburgh. South Florida hosts Navy.

Texas Tech against TCU, first to 60, wins. West Virginia travels to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State.

Florida and Georgia have their annual meeting in Jacksonville.

Michigan will try to get revenge against struggling state rival Michigan State. Nebraska takes on Wisconsin.

Washington faces a tough road test at Utah. Boise State goes to Laramie to battle Wyoming.

Though both teams are struggling, you always throw the records out when rivals Miami and Notre Dame play.

Clemson fresh off a bye go to Tallahassee to face-off against Florida 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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