Dolphins bench Josh Rosen, put Ryan Fitzpatrick in game vs. Redskins

first_imgShortly after Fitzpatrick was put in, he was able to move the ball 54 yards down the field to set Miami up for its first touchdown off a 1-yard run by Kalen Ballage.Under Ftizpatrick, the Dolphins were on the brink of tying the game — with six seconds left in the game, Fitzpatrick threw an 11-yard pass to Davante Parker to make the score 17-16. However, the team decided to go for a two-point conversion, which Kenyan Drake dropped after Fitzpatrick threw a screen to him.Fitzpatrick finished the day with by completing 12 of 18 passes for 132 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.It’s been a rough season for Rosen, who had to work hard to earn the starting position in Week 6. This was after first-year coach Brian Flores said it was “settled” that Rosen would be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.Flores seems to be sticking to that promise, telling reporters after the game that Rosen will continue to be the starter. Bruce Arians on Jameis Winston’s six turnovers: ‘He has a habit of trying to be Superman’ Bears place guard Kyle Long on injured reserve Flo says Rosen continues to be the starter.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 13, 2019Overall, Rosen has just one touchdown and five interceptions on the season. Fitzpatrick hasn’t fared much better, throwing for one touchdown and four interceptions on the year before Sunday’s game.It’s another tough blow for Rosen, who was traded from the Cardinals during the NFL draft in April after Arizona drafted Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. In the 2018 draft, Rosen was drafted No. 10 overall.In his rookie season, the Cardinals finished 3-13 and Rosen threw for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and seven fumbles. Will Dissly injury update: Seahawks tight end will miss rest of season, Pete Carroll says Before he was benched, Rosen threw for 85 yards, completed 15 of 25 passes, no touchdowns and two interceptions.At the time of his benching, the Dolphins trailed the Redskins, 17-3. Related News Fitzmagic time is back.The Dolphins opted to bench second-year quarterback Josh Rosen for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick at the beginning of the fourth quarter of their game against the Redskins.last_img read more

Tua Tagovailoa injury update: Alabama QB’s ankle rehab ‘pretty unpredictable’ after surgery

first_imgAlabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who underwent a procedure Sunday on a right high-ankle sprain that will force him to miss at least the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s game Saturday against Arkansas, is in an injury situation coach Nick Saban on Monday called “unpredictable.”“The surgery was successful,” Saban told reporters (via AL.com). “There’s no real timetable for his return, but the expectation is he will be non-weight bearing for several days and then he’ll be able to come back as his rehab allows him. We’re hopeful that in a 10-day period he’ll be back being able to do pretty active type rehab and we’ll see how it goes from there. These things are pretty unpredictable at this point.” Saban had confirmed in a statement Sunday that Tagovailoa suffered the high ankle sprain against Tennessee and underwent TightRope surgery.According to the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, a TightRope fixation “is used to stabilize an ankle after injury. It can be used to repair a high ankle sprain, which damages the soft tissue structures between the tibia and fibula and causes these bones to separate. … The TightRope system anchors the ends of the tibia and fibula together with a braided polyethylene cord, rather than with a rigid surgical screw, to restore the original position of the bones and to allow for proper healing.” Related News Tua Tagovailoa says he was ‘really close’ to leaving Alabama for USC Tagovailoa also had the TightRope procedure after injuring his left ankle against Georgia in the SEC championship last season. At the time, Dr. William McGarvey of Katy, Texas, Orthopedics told AL.com that “(a) two-week recovery time is about as fast as I’ve heard of anybody trying to get back on the field with a true high-ankle injury.”That’s an important timeline concern regarding Tagovailoa because No. 1 Alabama plays No. 2 LSU in three weeks at 3:30 p.m. ET Nov. 9 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tagovailoa was telling teammates after the Tennessee game that he would be back for LSU, according to AL.com.Tagovailoa’s ankle was rolled up on during a sack by Tennessee defensive lineman Greg Emerson, and the Crimson Tide QB limped off the field. He was ruled out for the game and afterward Saban said Tagovailoa could be out a week or two.Tua Tagovailoa to the medical tent after this nasty looking ankle injury. pic.twitter.com/AM9cuV11Dx— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 20, 2019Tagovailoa was 11 of 12 passing for 155 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before leaving.He was replaced by third-year sophomore backup Mac Jones, who completed 6 of 11 passes for 72 yards. For the season, Jones is 20-for-32 for 237 yards and one touchdown with one interception.Jones will start at quarterback against Arkansas on Saturday, Saban confirmed Monday.“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mac,” Saban said. “With a week of preparation, I think he’ll do a lot better in this game.” Saban also said Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother who is a true freshman, will be the backup quarterback against Arkansas.“I think he’s got a lot of talent. We’ve tried to get him some reps throughout the course of the year in case this happened,” Saban said of the younger Tagovailoa (via AL.com). “It’s going to be important that we do a good job of progressing him this week, as well.”Last year against Georgia in the SEC title game, Tagovailoa was replaced by Jalen Hurts, who led the Crimson Tide back to win the game and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. But Hurts since has transferred to Oklahoma, where he has the Sooners 6-0 and No. 5 in the nation.last_img read more

Loaded Memphis class is No. 1, but Penny Hardaway’s freshmen don’t automatically rank with best

first_imgIn just their first month of college basketball, the Tigers will face Oregon on the road (more or less) Nov. 12 in Portland, Ole Miss at home Nov. 23 and NC State in Brooklyn on Nov. 28.”I like what they’ve done in terms of their schedule matching expectations. If you look at who they’re playing, it’s going to give them the opportunity to justify the ranking they have and the opportunity to creep forward in the rankings,” Wise said. “Nobody has circled Memphis on their schedule the last couple years. Everybody is going to do that this year. That’s the challenge. That’s something only a few programs in the country deal with.”End of the year, because everybody jumps to the NCAA Tournament, a vast majority of hoops fans have no idea how hard it is to win one game in the tournament, much less six. If you end the year ranked 14th and you’re in Sweet 16, will that be a disappointing year?” “It validates what we already think,” Hardaway told Mark Giannotto of the Commercial Appeal. “I don’t know if they’re judging the talent being so young or the coaching staff, or both, to be ranked so low with such a high-powered class coming in.”Bold strategy, Penny.MORE: Sporting News’ preseason top 25 for 2019-20 seasonHe may be young in terms of coaching experience, but Hardaway has been around the game at its highest levels since he carried the Tigers to the 1992 Elite Eight in his first season as a superstar collegian, then helped lead the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in his second season as a pro. He understands what a team needs to get through the most difficult challenges.”Coaches will utilize any motivational tactic possible to keep their team on edge. I think it’s a smart play,” ESPN analyst Mark Wise told Sporting News. “That said, you know what the difference is between the 14th-ranked team and the 8th-ranked team? One possession. You know what the difference is between the 14th-ranked team and the 44th-ranked team? One possession.”There may be a wider gap, however, between the Tigers’ No. 1 recruiting class for 2019 and the Duke and Kentucky teams that have been earning (and mostly validating) top-five poll rankings on the basis of their freshmen over the past decade. It is a revolutionary class for a program whose recruiting had lagged in the past half-dozen years, and it did earn a No. 1 ranking from most analysts, but that doesn’t necessarily convey immediate college basketball greatness.The seven freshmen who signed with the Tigers comprise two five-star recruits and five four-star players, according to 247 Sports. Along with No. 1 prospect James Wiseman, a 7-1 center from East High in Memphis, the Tigers landed the players rated No. 15 (forward Precious Achiuwa), No. 38 (shooting guard Boogie Ellis), No. 52 (versatile forward D.J. Jeffries) and No. 58 (shooting guard Lester Quinones).This is not the sort of profile that led to Duke entering the 2018-19 season ranked No. 4. The Blue Devils’ recruiting class had the No. 1 (R.J. Barrett), No. 2 (Cam Reddish), No. 5 (Zion Williamson) and No. 15 (Tre Jones) prospects.The 2017 Duke class that helped lead to a No. 1 preseason AP ranking consisted of No. 1 (Marvin Bagley), No. 6 (Trevon Duval), No. 7 (Wendell Carter) and No. 17 (Gary Trent). That same year, the Kentucky recruiting class was runner-up to the Blue Devils, but included No. 10, 11, 12, 15, 18 and 26.”They’re not even remotely close,” 247 Sports recruiting analyst Brian Snow told Sporting News. “The Memphis class had seven guys. Whenever you have that kind of volume, because that counts, it’s going to rank highly. But in terms of immediate impact guys, it’s totally different than what Duke brought in or what Kentucky’s brought in.”People are looking at the track record of Duke’s and Kentucky’s No. 1 classes and transposing that to Memphis, when the classes are entirely different.”None of those teams won a national championship or reached the Final Four. When the Devils did win a championship with a freshman-dominant squad, it was with players ranked No. 1 (Jahlil Okafor), No. 8 (Tyus Jones), No. 13 (Justise Winslow) and No. 26 (Grayson Allen).When Kentucky did it with three top freshmen in 2012, they were ranked No. 1 (Anthony Davis), No. 3 (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and No. 6 (Marquis Teague).MORE: Sporting News’ 2019-20 college basketball preseason All-AmericansAsking Memphis to do what those teams did with the players the Tigers have attracted seems a bit of a reach.”People tend to greatly — and I do mean greatly — overrate the impact of non-elite freshman,” Snow told SN. “If you’re ranked 35, in time you’re going to be a very good player. As a freshman, you’re generally talking six points a game. If you’re going to build your team around freshmen, it can’t be those guys. Lester, Boogie — they’re going to be good players. Are they ready to make a big impact as freshmen? History tells us: probably not.”The Tigers went 22-14 last season but missed the NCAA Tournament. Four of their top five scorers were seniors, including star guard Jeremiah Martin, whom opponents in the American Athletic Conference not only respected, but also feared.Hardaway might start five freshmen, with the lowest-ranked prospect of the freshmen group — No. 115 Damion Baugh — showing the ability during the team’s summer Bahamas trip to possibly run the offense. Smallish sophomores Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax will compete with the newcomers for backcourt playing time.That’s another concern for these Tigers.”Not only are they led by freshmen, the people behind them are sophomores,” Snow said.They will have to adjust to more challenging practices, a longer schedule and being challenged by sophisticated defensive schemes designed by Final Four veterans Kelvin Sampson of Houston and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State. The Memphis Tigers have picked a most curious juncture to sing the oldest song in the sports jukebox: the one called “Nobody Believes in Us.” They’re playing this tune before any of their most prominent players has appeared in a Division I game.Now in his second year as Tigers coach and third decade as enduring Tigers legend, Penny Hardaway’s response to seeing Memphis ranked No. 14 in the preseason Associated Press poll was to express surprise the team, given that it enters the 2019-20 season with the No. 1 recruiting class in college basketball, hadn’t been placed higher.last_img read more

Three takeaways from Nationals’ World Series-tying Game 6 win over Astros

first_imgThe annual “Justin Verlander should be furious with the lineup” takeawayPitcher wins are virtually pointless in baseball. And yes, this is a new-age sentence, we know, but the simple fact is — unless in a National League ballpark — pitchers cannot contribute runs. So a pitcher can only win a game if his team supports him. The Astros consistently have failed to support Justin Verlander over the last three postseasons. With Houston’s “mammoth” two-run output Tuesday, the Astros have scored 16 runs in six postseason starts in 2019 (2.67 RPG). What’s worse, in 15 postseason starts for the Astros in his career, Houston has scored 60 runs (4.00 RPG), but it has scored one run or less four times, two or less six times and three or less eight times. It doesn’t matter how much of a Hall of Fame resume a guy has, that is asking a pitcher to do far too much. Verlander gave up three runs in Game 6. He gave up four in Game 2. That’s more than enough for a teams with the second highest wRC+ in the history of baseball behind only the 1927 Yankees. Verlander should be very displeased with his teammates right now. Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Adam Eaton all homered for Washington as we now prepare for Game 7 on Wednesday.It will be Zack Greinke vs. Max Scherzer. There’s not much more we could ask for.Three takeaways from Nationals’ World Series-tying Game 6 win over the AstrosStephen Strasburg has surpassed Justin VerlanderMake absolutely no mistake, this game was somewhat of a passing of the torch. And while that normally consists of one teammate passing the baton to another, in this case, it was one postseason star from one league handing it to another man in another league. Justin Verlander is still a very good pitcher, but Stephen Strasburg is just better.The easiest way to demonstrate it is this: Strasburg can get an out with any pitch he throws, period. And he can do it in the zone. Verlander still can get outs with all of his pitches, but he needs batters to chase now. Strasburg does not. He can throw anything he wants at a batter and dare him to hit it. Verlander simply can’t.Stephen Strasburg, Wicked 87mph Changeup and 81mph Curveball. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/5aaDQbZMJW— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 30, 2019Justin Verlander. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/eVF4LNkh1X— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 30, 2019To reiterate: does this mean Verlander cannot get guys out on pitches in the zone? Absolutely not. He certainly can. Strasburg can just do it better. That’s why he dominated an Astros team that doesn’t chase pitches out of the zone in this series and it’s why Anthony Rendon went on a 10-pitch at-bat in which he walked against Verlander.Strasburg is better than Verlander right now and anyone watching the two men pitch in Game 6 saw that. Return of the batting eye problem?An issue that was forgotten about this year in Houston was a problem Astros hitters had with the batter’s eye in center field at Minute Maid Park. This was an issue that saw Houston score 51 runs less in 2018 at home during the regular season than they did on the road. Houston posted an OPS+ of 99 at home in 2018 vs. 116 on the road.It’s an issue people forgot about this season because the Astros were so good at home going 60-21 at Minute Maid Park and scoring 68 more runs at home than they did on the road. But with the way the ball is flying differently in the postseason, we wonder if the problem has returned. We say that only to suggest that mentally, Houston might be overthinking it at home.Houston brought up the fact the batter’s eye was a problem last season on multiple occasions and we have to wonder whether it is causing issues again. Houston is struggling to hit — and win — at home. The Astros are now 0-3 in this series at home while scoring nine runs. Houston is scoring 2.66 runs per game at home this postseason and 4.5 on the road.And while they did win two of three in the ALCS at home, they scored just nine runs. Now, some of this has to be the pitching Houston has faced at Minute Maid Park, but for a team that scored 6.03 runs per game at home this season, one has to wonder. It could also be that the Astros are simply trying too hard to homer into the Crawford Boxes which they have had issues with before. “I don’t know if it’s subconsciously we see the (short left-field) porch, the Crawford Boxes (at Minute Maid Park) and try to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” manager AJ Hinch said in 2018. “It’s weird, it’s very unusual.”Are the Astros struggling with hitting at their own ballpark now that they know it’s tougher to hit with the baseball? There will be a Game 7 in the 2019 World Series as the Nationals beat the Astros 7-2 to tie the series up 3-3.Stephen Strasburg tossed 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball to earn the win while Justin Verlander gave up three runs in five innings to be saddled with yet another World Series loss. He is now 0-6 in his career in the “Fall Classic.”last_img read more

UFC 244: Nate Diaz already ‘BMF’ after walking through USADA’s drug test unscathed

first_imgThe jab served as a final middle finger to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after a whirlwind week that had the agency alert Diaz of his test result showing “elevated levels” of a banned substance, only to clear him of any violation a day later.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearIt all started last Thursday, when Diaz took to his Twitter account and broke the news of his own drug result showing “elevated levels.”He threatened to not make his flight to New York City for UFC 244 on Nov. 2 and scratch his main event fight against Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden unless USADA and the UFC set the record straight that he’s a clean fighter.Your all on steroids not me pic.twitter.com/ykrZmRIoPS— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) October 24, 2019Upon learning about Diaz’s tweet, even Masvidal defended his future opponent’s name and reputation.You not the baddest mofo in the game (i am) but you are one of the cleanest mofo’s @NateDiaz209 I’ll see you nov 2. I know your name is clean. I don’t need @usantidoping to tell me shit!— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) October 24, 2019The very next day, both the UFC and USADA acknowledged Diaz’s result revealing amounts of the banned substance LGD-4033 in his system, but cleared him of violating policy.”Mr. Diaz has not committed an anti-doping policy violation, has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions,” the UFC said in a statement posted on its website. “Additionally, UFC has been informed by independent experts who have determined that there is unequivocally no appreciable performance-enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system, which is roughly 10,000 times lower than one LGD-4033 therapeutic dose.”This past Monday, as reported by ESPN, Diaz alleged that he was told to keep the USADA findings on the hush hush — something he refused to do by bringing it to the forefront with his tweet four days prior. On Wednesday, Diaz’s fans broke out into a “F— USADA!” chant during his public workout at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in full support of the 209 representative.It’s no secret that Diaz has always loathed interviews and media sessions like the one that put all eyes on him Thursday. The Stockton, Calif., native has always let his fighting do the talking for him. But on this day, he opted to hammer some final coffin nails into the subject.”For one, they call me telling me all this s—, they’re telling me all this, ‘You’re on drugs s—’ … I’m like, ‘Hold up, I’m not on drugs, fix your test,'” Diaz said. “So, I continued taking my supplements, which are Whole Foods supplements. I only eat out the garden.”I live like that, by that code — the strong survive type of s—t. I don’t need no [cheating]. When they do that, I’m like, ‘You’re f—ing up my whole s—, what I believe in and it’s making me lose sleep at night.’ So, I’m like, ‘You know what? This is war and this ain’t fair. I’m not sleeping. The UFC is sleeping. Jorge Masvidal is sleeping.'”That’s when Diaz decided that tweeting about the situation himself and threatening to cancel the fight was the only stance for him to take.”I’m like, ‘How about f— all of you guys? Ain’t nobody sleeping,'” Diaz said. “The fight’s off. Now, no one can sleep and I was in bed smiling.”Diaz’s strategy worked.”It evened things out a little, and it’s what’s real,” he said. “And now look at it — they flipped their s—, got it together and there was nothing wrong in the first place, so why did you guys try to f— with me to begin with?”Some critics might feel like USADA caved under the pressure and worst-case scenario of having Diaz vs. Masvidal for the BMF title scrapped after all this buildup and anticipation. Add that to the fact that UFC 244 marks the company’s 500th event, and the bout being canceled would have boiled over into pure public outrage.Regardless of what you believe, Diaz’s handling of USADA suggests what he has boasted all along — that he’s already the reigning and defending “Baddest Motherf—er” in the fight game. UFC president Dana White will unveil the BMF title belt Friday and has referred to the hardware as a one-off thing curated for Diaz vs. Masvidal, but Diaz says that he’ll brandish the tagline “forever.”After all, who else could take an accusation aimed his way, flip the script, put the onus on USADA and the UFC and walk out unscathed in all of this? The self-proclaimed “West Coast gangster,” that’s who.And now that this is behind him, Diaz can return to his comfort zone — the Octagon.”Yeah,” Diaz said in his signature raspy voice, “I don’t like not fighting.” NEW YORK — Nate Diaz plopped down onto his seat for UFC 244 media day and grabbed the water bottle placed by his legs. He hit the scrum of reporters huddled around him with a quote before they could fire off a first question.”There better not be steroids in here,” Diaz said, putting the bottle down beside him and flashing a devilish grin.last_img read more

Yahoo NFL DFS Picks Week 9: Daily fantasy football lineup advice for GPP tournaments

first_imgWEEK 9 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerNFL DFS Week 9: Yahoo GPP Lineup PicksQB Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Lions ($27). We’ll count on Carr, coming off a three-TD game, continuing to look solid against a Lions defense that made Daniel Jones look much better than a struggling rookie QB.WEEK 9 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | DK cash | DK GPP | FD cash | FD GPPRB Mark Walton, Dolphins vs. Jets ($15). With Kenyan Drake out of town, this is now Walton’s job. Even in Miami, 15 touches is 15 touches, and so we’ll take a chance that Walton’s 15 touches can return value on his $15 price tag in a favorable matchup.WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endRB Nick Chubb, Browns @ Broncos ($31). Chubb even ran well against the Patriots despite Baker Mayfield not posing much of a threat. At this point, Chubb is a great play in any format in any week, and we’ve seen the Broncos give up huge games to RBs this season.WR Tyrell Williams, Raiders vs. Lions ($20). Carr and Williams connected for a touchdown again in Week 8 after Williams returned from a multi-week layoff. Darius Slay’s status matters on the outside here, but this is still the best GPP stack with Carr regardless.WEEK 9: Waiver wire | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap countsWR Robby Anderson, Jets @ Dolphins ($17). Anderson is a classic boom-or-bust wideout, so we’ll give him a shot to surge us up a GPP leaderboard with a long score against the winless Dolphins.WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Buccaneers ($28). Tampa Bay’s pass defense is bad. Russell Wilson and Lockett’s connection is really good. Ownership won’t be super low or anything, but I’m buying that Lockett will have a big game that we want in our lineup.TE Jonnu Smith, Titans @ Panthers ($12). Regardless of Delanie Walker’s status, I think it’ll be Smith leading the Titans’ TEs in relevant stats in Week 9. At such a value, it won’t take much for us to benefit from paying down at TE. MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup builderFLEX Chris Godwin, Buccaneers @ Seahawks ($29). How do you decide between Godwin and Mike Evans? For me, I figured the more consistent Godwin is more likely to help Tampa keep up with Lockett and the Seahawks.D/ST Philadelphia Eagles vs. Bears ($14). Philly’s weakness is against the pass, but this is a bet that they’ll manage just fine against Mitchell Trubisky, allowing them to take advantage of the couple mistakes he’s bound to make Sunday. The Kenyan Drake trade helps our Week 9 Yahoo daily fantasy football GPP lineup picks. We got Mark Walton at a great value, and he might not be too popular in NFL DFS circles simply because he’s on the Dolphins. The excitement factor doesn’t really increase with our Derek Carr stack with Tyrell Williams, but I promise it gets better. You also get to play Nick Chubb, Tyler Lockett and Chris Godwin — and we try and take advantage of the Dolphins with boom-or-bust WR selection Robby Anderson.Last week’s lineup finished about average. Trusting Ryan Tannehill to deliver for Corey Davis two weeks in a row didn’t pay off, and neither did counting on another big workload from Josh Jacobs. Cooper Kupp and DeAndre Hopkins were both good picks, but that’s not surprising. Whiffing on Davis and Ricky Seals-Jones as our two main sleepers, along with relying on Buffalo’s passing game on a windy day, were the bigger flaws. We’ll try to avoid those misses in Week 9.last_img read more

Yellow Jackets know how to win bowl games

first_imgWhen Utah meets Georgia Tech Thursday afternoon in the Emerald Bowl, the Utes will more than have their hands full.Not only is Georgia Tech ranked No. 24 in the country with road wins over Miami when it was ranked No. 3 and Auburn when it was ranked No. 16, but it also is the most successful program in the country when it comes to bowl games.The Georgia Institute of Technology, as it is officially known, has compiled an impressive 22-11 record over the past 76 years, a .667 percentage that is better than storied programs such as USC, Penn State and Oklahoma, which rank second, third and fourth all time.It is one of six schools to play in bowl games each of the past nine years. In their last two bowl appearances, the Yellow Jackets have beaten their opponents by a combined score of 103-24.That’s why every Ute coach and player you ask repeats the same mantra that Georgia Tech is the best team Utah will face all year “by far.””That’s a quality football team,” said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham. “They are a heckuva lot better football team than we faced last year in the Fiesta Bowl.”The strength of the team is the defense, which ranks in the top 20 in the nation in six categories, including total defense (10), rushing defense (11), pass efficiency (14), scoring defense (16), interceptions (7) and turnover margin (17).They are led by a trio of all-ACC selections in defensive end Eric Henderson, linebacker Gerris Wilkinson and safety Dawan Landry. Henderson has 6.5 sacks on the year, Wilkinson leads the team in tackles with 78, while Landry made four interceptions and is the third best tackler on the team.”No question, they’re the best defense we’ve seen this year,” said Ute offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. “They’re a pro style, zone pressure football team. They like to rush five at the quarterback, play three in a deep zone with three underneath defenders. And they’re very good at it.”The Yellow Jackets are particularly good against the run, allowing just 98 yards per game, less than Ute running back Quinton Ganther averages all by himself (100 yards per game).Ludwig says the Ute offense must accomplish three main goals against the tough Georgia Tech defense: run the football effectively; protect the passer; and don’t turn the ball over.The Georgia Tech offense isn’t quite as scary as the defense, averaging just 19.3 points per game, but it still features several talented players the Utes will have to stop.Junior quarterback Reggie Ball, who was the MVP of last year’s Champs Sports Bowl, leads the offense. He has passed for just under 200 yards a game and is the team’s third leading rusher with 379 yards. He has accounted for 14 touchdowns, 10 through the air and four on the ground.His top receiver is Calvin Johnson, who was named second-team all-American by the Associated Press. He caught 52 passes for 869 yards and 10 touchdowns.Ute defensive coordinator Gary Andersen calls him the best receiver the Utes will face all year, and the Utes have seen some fine ones. Andersen calls him a mix between San Diego State’s Jeff Webb and New Mexico’s Hank Baskett.”He’s got great the speed and athleticism of Webb and the size of Baskett,” said Andersen.But Andersen is just as concerned about the Yellow Jackets’ running game led by P.J. Daniels, a second-team all-ACC selection, who rushed for 821 yards, and Tashard Choice, who ran for 512 yards with six touchdowns.”One of the most underrated parts of the offense are the running backs,” said Andersen. “Daniels was second-team all-league, and he’s a very productive player. He’ll come up and smack you and get some tough yards. We’ve got to stop their running game.”Andersen said the Utes must also contain Ball and not let him get loose and also stop the Yellow Jackets’ big plays.If the game is close, the Utes may have an edge in the kicking game with Dan Beardall, who has missed just two field goals this year. The Yellow Jackets’ kicker, Travis Bell, was only 10 of 20 in field goal attempts, although he improved as the season went along after missing his first five attempts, all under 32 yards.Some folks wonder how motivated the Yellow Jackets will be after expecting to stay closer to home and play a higher-rated opponent than Utah. However, coach Chan Gailey answered that question last week. “There was initial disappointment, only because it’s so much tougher for our families and our fans to get to the game,” said Gailey. “But I think our team is excited about the destination. Most of our guys have never been to San Francisco, so it will be a new experience for them. I know our guys will be ready to play.” Georgia Tech players to watchOFFENSECalvin Johnson, WR, SO, 6-4 230A second-team AP all-American, Johnson is the Yellow Jackets’ big-play man with 52 catches for 869 yards and six touchdowns.Reggie Ball, QB, JR, 5-11, 195MVP of last year’s Champs Sports Bowl, threw for 1,907 yards and 10 touchdowns, and rushed for 379 yards, third best on the team, and four touchdowns.P.J. Daniels, RB, SR, 5-10, 210He leads Georgia Tech in rushing with 821 yards and was named second-team all-ACC and is also the third best receiver with 20 catches for 157 yards.DEFENSEEric Henderson, DE, SR, 6-3, 265The anchor of the Tech defense, he leads the team with 6.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.Gerris Wilkinson, LB, SR, 6-4, 230Leads the team in tackles with 78 and also has 8 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and an interception.Dawan Landry, DB, SR, 6-2, 215Has four interceptions on the season, is third on the team with 68 tackles, and has 2 fumble recoveries.SPECIAL TEAMSTravis Bell, PK, SO, 6-0, 210 After missing his first five field-goal tries, he has made 10 of his last 15, including seven from 40 yards or longer; has also made all 26 PATs. E-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Pro racquetball tourney returns to Utah

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — The International Pro Racquetball Tour is coming to Utah this week for four days of tournament play at the Sports Mall (5445 S. 900 East).It will mark the second straight year that the pro racquetball circuit has staged a tournament in Utah.Kane Waselenchuk, who won last year as part of a 136-match, three-year winning streak, had his unbeaten streak snapped earlier this month in New York when he had to forfeit a match due to injury against No. 2-ranked Rocky Carson. It had been one of the longest winning streaks in sports history.Besides Waselenchuk, the tournament will also feature former No. 1 Ruben Gonzales, a 58-year-old Hall of Fame inductee, who is attempting to crack the top 10 before be retires at age 60.Amateurs will also compete in age-specific and skill-level racquetball divisions, including local favorite Peter Wrigley. Approximately 200 athletes from two countries and 16 states will be competing for prize money and awards in this event.”We are very excited to bring the top IRT players and local amateurs back to Salt Lake City, where they will show why racquetball is the fastest, most athletic, and exciting racquet sport in the world,” said IRT president Jason Mannino. “This event will be memorable and thrilling to the thousands of people that visit the club.”The tournament begins Wednesday with amateur division play with the pro qualifying starting the next morning. The pro round of 16 and quarterfinals will be Friday with the semifinals set for Saturday at 11 a.m. and noon and the finals at 7 p.m. that evening.The season for the IRT, which was founded in 1990, runs from September through May and features some 300 players.Tickets can be purchased online at www.SaltLakeCityProAm.com or by contacting Kim Roy at kimroyracquetball@gmail.com.email: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

BYU women’s basketball: Cougars will play DePaul in Chicago in NCAA Tournament

first_imgPROVO — The BYU women’s basketball team will play DePaul Saturday in Chicago in the NCAA Tournament.The Cougars gathered at the BYU Broadcast Building next to the Marriott Center Monday afternoon to find out their destination. A big cheer erupted when their name finally flashed on the screen in the final bracket of the broadcast on ESPN.BYU (26-6) earned an NCAA berth by winning the West Coast Conference Tournament last week in Las Vegas, beating regular-season champion Gonzaga in the tournament final.The Cougars and Blue Demons (22-10) will play at the Rosemont All-State Arena Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. MT.The Cougars last went to the NCAA Tournament in 2007 when they lost a first-round game to Louisville in Los Angeles. This will mark the Cougars’ ninth NCAA appearance.last_img read more

Snyder trying not to place too much importance on Houston game tonight

first_img Andrei Kirilenko to be honored by the Utah Jazz on Monday; Hayward celebrates birthday Picked 23rd by Jazz, Rodney Hood proving to be a steal To single out one game of the next 12 and say it’s any more important than any other, it makes sense. But you could say the same thing about the last time we played Houston. Maybe Phoenix last Thursday) is more important. Maybe Dallas (in two weeks) is more important. – Quin SnyderHOUSTON — Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder knows the importance of Wednesday night’s game with Houston, which counts as a two-game swing between two teams fighting for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots.The Rockets are a half-game ahead of the Jazz in the West at 35-36 to Utah’s 34-36.However, Snyder is not treating the big game any different than another — at least he’s not letting on that he is.“It gets you onto a slippery slope,” he said. “To single out one game of the next 12 and say it’s any more important than any other, it makes sense. But you could say the same thing about the last time we played Houston. Maybe Phoenix last Thursday) is more important. Maybe Dallas (in two weeks) is more important.”When asked if he might change up his rotation and play some players more, perhaps 40 minutes-plus, in an effort to get a victory, Snyder didn’t bite, either.“I don’t know that we can play guys any more than they’ve been playing,” he said. “We’ve got a guy that’s coming off plantar fasciitis (Gordon Hayward) that missed two games last week. I play him 40 minutes, who knows where he is.” Related Deseret News NBA Podcast: Jazz’s important game against Houston; Looking at Shelvin Mack’s future with Jazzlast_img read more