Argentina I hope Argentina can live up to Messi’s standards – Mascherano Goal 01:50 6/10/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Getty Images Argentina World Cup Argentina v Iceland Argentina v Croatia Nigeria v Argentina Croatia Iceland Nigeria The Albiceleste’s most-capped player hopes his former Barcelona team-mate can take the World Cup by storm Javier Mascherano believes that Lionel Messi is the key to Argentina’s World Cup campaign – but warned he and his team-mates must do everything to help him succeed in Russia. The former Barca player will play in his fourth World Cup finals in 2018, and in May picked up his 143rd international cap to draw level with Javier Zanetti as Argentina’s appearance record holder. Perhaps nobody knows Messi as well as his predecessor as Albiceleste captain after more than a decade playing together with Argentina and Barcelona, and he knows the nation’s chances depend on his talent. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move “One wishes for this coming World Cup that Leo can be the best version of himself, because the aspirations of the whole squad depend on this version,” the midfielder explained to the Guardian. “It’s clear Leo conditions our collective performance; I hope as his team‑mates we can meet his standards.”Only a wonderful Messi hat-trick against Ecuador in the final round of qualifying sealed Argentina’s place in Russia after a chaotic campaign that saw Gerardo Martino, Edgardo Bauza and Jorge Sampaoli on the bench. Mascherano recognises that morale suffered badly on the path to the World Cup but he hopes now that those dark days are behind them. “It all started off really badly with a defeat to Ecuador at home, then we went to Paraguay and drew,” he recalls. “When we thought we might be able to make the jump, in the matches against Brazil, Colombia and Chile, an actual team started to appear, that’s when we went to the other Copa América in the US [the 2016 Centenario edition, with the final staged in New Jersey], and ended up changing manager.”After Tata [Martino] everything descended into chaos. Because we weren’t getting the results, because we were so needy, so lacking… because we changed manager again after that. There was such a sense of urgency.“We were so close to the edge … one match away from not qualifying for the World Cup, it was a Calvary.”Those of us who have been around for some time have seen the good times and the bad, facing up to the task and doing what’s needed along the way … luckily we’ve come through.”After seeing their last friendly match scheduled for Saturday against Israel cancelled due to security fears, Argentina will next be in action on June 16 as they open their World Cup against newcomers Iceland – “a new team in the sense that they maybe don’t have a long football tradition but they’re a generation of players that have made history recently”, in Mascherano’s words. They will then take on Croatia in Group D before closing the first round against Nigeria.
Transfers ‘The World Cup won’t change my life’ – Arsenal forward Joel Campbell keeping calm amid exit talk Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 14:32 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Transfers Arsenal Costa Rica v Serbia Real Betis Costa Rica Serbia Premier League World Cup Primera División The forward is currently in action with Costa Rica in Russia, taking time away from his difficult club career with the Gunners Arsenal forward Joel Campbell looks likely to leave the club this summer, but is not letting stories of an exit distract him from the World Cup.Costa Rica suffered a 1-0 defeat against Serbia in Samara, with the Real Betis loan star coming off the bench as they were unable to avoid defeat in the opening Group E match.The 25-year-old has been at Arsenal for seven years making just 40 appearances, having gone on loan to six different clubs in that time. His contract expires in June 2019, which has led to rumours that Arsenal will finally cash in on the Costa Rican. However, Campbell is relaxed about whether the World Cup can help him earn the next big move. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move “The World Cup won’t change my life, I don’t come here to show myself,” Campbell said in Samara. “I came to help my national team, everyone writes his own history and we have to look after group. I know about my contract and I know who I am. God has a plan for me”Costa Rica face an upwards battle to qualify with Brazil and Switzerland to come in Group E following their loss to Serbia.Head coach Oscar Ramirez has come under fire over his use of negative tactics in the opening game, but Campbell thinks his side are still in with a shout to get out of the group, despite the difficulty of the upcoming matches. “We trust in what our coach thought for this game,” Campbell added. “He is super able, he decided this and we have to respect it. I think our team tried to do good things independently before I was on the pitch. It was an equal game that was decided by a free kick.“Now it is more difficult, but there are two remaining games and we will go to win. It’s a World Cup, here there are the best national teams around the world and we are one of them. We will try to give our best at the next match.”
â€œA sponsorship is sponsorship; it is a transactional deal that lasts until there is a better offer on the table.â€œThe real bonus comes if you enjoy working with each otherâ€¦and this should not be confused with a partnership.â€In between the several examples of where some â€˜partnershipsâ€™ have simply and predictably fallen over from his own and othersâ€™ perspectives, Brant expands on what he believes makes the two teamsâ€™ tick.â€œThere is always an exception to the rule and Touch Football Australia and the full team led by Colm Maguire is that exception. â€œIt has been a great pleasure to work in partnership with this organisation; through the highs and lows and I would encourage any multinational to get on board with this exceptional organisation. â€œIt is very rare that you have a 10-year partnership with a club or association, and we at BLK could not be prouder.â€œHereâ€™s to the next 10 years with TFA!â€ Brant beamed.For Colm Maguire it was fitting to have the final word, which is not always the case with his great mate, â€œTâ€.â€œFrom the early days we have got along so well together personally but weâ€™re also kindred spirits in terms of business management and customer care and doing the right by each other in businessâ€¦as true partners should,â€ he said.â€œThe early days were indeed some funny days but we could not be any prouder of how Tyron has worked with us on what works for our community. And steering his company through some major upheaval; think more recently the Fiji cyclone disaster which devastated the island and the BLK production factory, as one more recent example.â€œThey (BLK) showed remarkable resilience in the face of great tragedy and we were with them every step of the way; and fair to say so were the wider Touch Football community as well across the country.â€œWhat has emerged since those early designs is the most contemporary and cutting edge styles in the market today and it is a testament to Tyron, his hard working team and their partnership with us.â€œWe have now branched out with our fantastic Ambassador team composed of our leading athletes demonstrating the high quality gear provided to them and the great cost effective range available to the park player and wider grassroots.â€œWe sure have come a long way – look no further than our gift to Tyron (commemorative frame) showing just how far we have come!â€ TFA and BLK celebrate their enduring and great 10-year partnership together; the performance team-wear specialists well and truly part of the Touch Football fabric. Related Filesthe_ties_that_bind-pdfRelated LinksTFA and BLK celebrate partnership By Julian Buckmaster – @JulianTFA From humble beginnings, a long and enduring partnership has ensued. From the initial designs and on-and-off field apparel adorning the elite Australian players, there is now seemingly a junior, senior and anywhere in between player doing their thing across a range of sports in their neat new BLK kit. Traditionally aligned to the Rugby codes and then Touch Football in that sequence, the BLK brand flies high across Rugby League, AFL and Rugby and cricket fields and courts of all persuasions including netball and basketball. As an initial two-man operation in the back blocks of the Gold Coast, to a multi-million dollar global business today, BLK has emerged as one of the best and largest elite and performance team-wear companies in Australia and with a significant footprint globally.â€˜Beyond Limits Knownâ€™ is the company tagline. It reflects well the relationship with Touch Football embodying the mentality of the elite Touch Football player but has also at times tested the limits in terms of productionâ€¦and customer expectations. The lunch was to commemorate the TFA-BLK 10-year timeline together; partners in arms and legs and socks and any possible garment that enables improved performance for competitors across a wide range of styles. A proud Tyron Brant is especially fond of his close relationship with the TFA CEO, Maguire and the team that in his words embody the true meaning of partnership. A partnership borne through mutual respect and connection, now into its second decade and stronger than oak.â€œIt is very rare in todayâ€™s changing landscape that you can call a sponsorship a partnership,â€ Brant said bluntly.
Bernardo Silva admits Man City need perfection in Liverpool chaseby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City star Bernardo Silva admits the club must be perfect if they are to win the Premier League title this season.The champions were expected to cruise to another title this season, but a recent run of three losses in four games has them seven points behind the unbeaten Liverpool, who they will face on January 3.And Silva knows City can’t make anymore mistakes if they want to chase down the Reds.”We started quite well but we weren’t able to play as usual and in the end they scored an amazing goal,” said Silva after the Boxing Day loss to Leicester City.”Even if we beat Liverpool now it won’t be easy.”We have lost two games that we shouldn’t do if we are in a race for the title.”There are a lot of games left and it’s mathematically possible but we have to be almost perfect from now.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Brighton agree Ezequiel Schelotto can leave after summitby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton have made Ezequiel Schelotto available for the January market.TMW says Schelotto and his agents met with Brighton yesterday where it was agreed he could leave this month.The wing-back, however, has been informed Brighton only want him to leave on-loan rather than an outright sale.A return to Italy is being mooted where SPAL are keen.Schelotto, 29, moved to Brighton 18 months ago from Sporting CP.
Man Utd U23 coach Wood: Brandon Williams must learn from red cardby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United Under-23s boss Neil Wood says Brandon Williams must learn from his red card in victory over Fulham.Williams is the Under-23s’ captain but his evening at Leigh Sports Village ended disappointingly as he was shown a second yellow card for a mistimed challenge in the closing stages.The 18-year-old had earlier been booked after an altercation with Fulham striker Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Wood said he needs to learn from his mistake.”He was really good [up until the sending off],” Wood told the Manchester Evening News. “He’s got a red card, a one-game ban and his little retaliation, he’s going to have to learn.”He had a little flare-up with the lad (Taylor-Crossdale) earlier and got his first caution, but it’s something he’s going to have to learn from. He’s old enough and mature enough to know he let himself down a little bit but I’m sure he’ll learn from the experience.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd post scout to watch Benfica centre-back Ruben Diasby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United remain interested in Benfica’s young centre-back Ruben Dias.Record says AC Milan, Wolves and United are among clubs that have been identified as possible destinations for Dias.And United have posted a scout to Portugal to study the Benfica defender.Dias is regarded highly across Europe, but chose remain with Benfica this season. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say David Luiz hails ‘great’ Arsenal performance in Man Utd drawby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDavid Luiz believes Arsenal were “great” in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half goal canceled out the opener from Scott McTominay, condemning United to their worst start to a season in 30 years.And Luiz was pleased with the Gunners’ resilience away from home.”We’re happy with the performance. You have to analyse each team performance and I think we did great,” Luiz told Sky Sports.”Even when we went 1-0 down we showed maturity – especially the youngsters who deserve the credit. They’re so young but know how to play football and live with the pressure, they’re more mature than before.”It was interesting game for the supporters but we did well and so did the other team.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ex-Inter Milan president Moratti: I’d re-sign LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovicby Carlos Volcano4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti says he’d re-sign LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Inter need a new striker after losing Alexis Sanchez to a three-month injury layoff.“Maybe I’d have done something so crazy,” Moratti, referring to Ibra, told Sport Mediaset.“Having said that, there’s a balance that needs maintaining and the players already there have to be respected.“In these cases, all these situations have to be considered.”
YouTube/amskowr1It has been a few weeks since Michigan’s devastating loss to rival Michigan State, so some Michigan fans are coming to terms with things now. It took a while, but maybe the craziest reaction to the loss has hit the internet, via Reddit. With the game appearing to be in hand, an excited Michigan fan (who is stripped down to his underwear, for whatever reason) pops a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, we now know that he was just a bit premature with the celebration. After Michigan State’s fateful touchdown on the final play, he and his friends absolutely freak out. He also slips and falls on the spilled champagne. The video is quite ‘not safe for work’ for language.A Redditor claiming to be the fan in the yellow shirt answers some questions in the thread about the video.We can’t really hold the reaction against them. That game was insane. Remember though, everyone, keep the cork in the bottle until the clock hits zero.[Reddit]
Chelsea will not be signing AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain during the January transfer window, with the complexities of the deal making it not viable for the Blues.Having previously shown an interest in the Argentina international during the summer transfer window, Maurizio Sarri made it clear to the Chelsea hierarchy he was keen to reunite with a player who thrived under him at Napoli.But with Higuain only currently on loan at Milan from Juventus, Goal understands the Premier League outfit were weary of negotiating with two separate clubs during the winter window and will now look elsewhere in their pursuit of a new centre-forward. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Former Real Madrid striker Higuain has struggled for form since swapping Juve for the Rossoneri in the summer, scoring just eight goals in 20 appearances across all competitions.He also made headlines in November when he was sent off against his parent club, with his reaction to the decision earning him a two-match Serie A suspension.Such performances have seen some question whether it is wise for Milan to pay the previously agreed €36 million (£32m/$42m) to make the move permanent this summer having already forked out €18m (£16m/$21m) for the original year-long loan.Nevertheless, the 31-year-old will not be making the switch to Stamford Bridge this month, meaning Chelsea and Sarri must look elsewhere in their attempts to add further firepower to their frontline.Sarri’s side initially started the season in fine form, scoring 27 goals in their opening 11 league matches as the Italian broke a Premier League record for the longest unbeaten start for a new manager.But in their 10 matches since they have found the net on just 11 occasions, culminating in Wednesday’s frustrating 0-0 home draw with struggling Southampton.Such a poor run in front of goal has seen them slip out of the title race, and with just two wins from their last four matches they are now at risk of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League by virtue of a top-four finish.Alvaro Morata – who was tipped as a potential option in a swap deal for Higuain in some reports – has not scored in the league since the first week of October while Olivier Giroud’s only league goal in 2018-19 was a late consolation in Sarri’s first Blues defeat at the hands of Tottenham.As such Eden Hazard has had to carry the brunt of the goalscoring responsibility – netting 10 times in the league on his way to bringing up a century of goals for the club – with the Belgium international even having been deployed as a false nine in recent weeks.Sarri’s assistant coach, Gianfranco Zola, has confirmed that Chelsea are keen on Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, though he admitted they were not the only side watching the new England international.Sarri himself, meanwhile, spoke of his wish to bring in a new forward player following the Southampton stalemate, telling a news conference: “We have to try to solve the problem of the last 15 or 20 metres.”The club knows very well my opinion. I think we need something different for characteristics.”I’m not in charge of the market. I have to try to improve my players, my team, my offensive phase, or better my offensive phase in the last 20 metres.”The club knows my position, my opinion. It’s up to the board.”Chelsea have already made one move in the January window after completing a £58m ($73m) move for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, though Sarri admitted he was unaware of the negotiations surrounding a deal that will see the United States international spend the second half of the campaign back on loan at the Bundesliga leaders.And the Blues also face a fight to keep hold of young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Bayern Munich having increased their bid for the Under-17 World Cup winner to £30m ($37.5m) after his refusal to sign a new deal in west London.
Senegal have reached the Africa Cup of Nations final for just the second time in their history having beaten Tunisia 1-0 after extra time in a dramatic match that saw both teams miss penalties.The 2002 runners-up edged past Uganda and Benin with 1-0 victories in the previous two knockout rounds and maintained their impressive defensive record in Cairo as they eventually found a way past unfortunate Tunisia, who were denied another clear penalty late on.Henri Saivet wasted a glorious chance to send Senegal through towards the end of normal time in Sunday’s clash when failing to convert from the penalty spot, five minutes after Ferjani Sassi had done likewise at the opposite end of the field. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? An unfortunate own goal from Dylan Bronn 10 minutes into extra time proved to be the winner for Aliou Cisse’s side, who will face either Algeria or Nigeria in Friday’s final, but Tunisia felt aggrieved as they were awarded a late penalty only for that decision to be controversially overturned following a VAR check.THEY’RE THE LIONSAND THEY’RE IN THE FINAL#TotalAFCON2019 pic.twitter.com/YEHAwmTjOQ— CAF (@CAF_Online) July 14, 2019Senegal dominated the first half and should have taken a lead into the interval as Youssouf Sabaly hit the frame of the goal with his 18-yard curling attempt. Sadio Mane then fired wide when off balance after doing the hard work by rounding Mouez Hassen.Taha Khenissi and Sassi came close for Tunisia in the space of a minute at the start of the second half, with the latter at least managing to test Alfred Gomis with his effort.The game then exploded into life with 17 minutes of normal time to go as both teams were awarded a penalty.Sassi’s shot was blocked by the arm of Kalidou Koulibaly in the box and the midfielder stepped up to take the poorly-taken pen, which Gomis was equal to down to his right.Senegal were awarded a spot-kick of their own three minutes later after Bronn felled Ismaila Sarr in the box, but Saivet was next to be denied with his attempt towards the bottom-right corner of the net saved.But Tunisia were unable to make the most of their reprieve as Hassen flapped at a cross, which hit Bronn on the hand and then the face before trickling over the line.Yet another incredible twist saw the referee point to the penalty spot for a third time with 115 minutes on the clock after Salif Sane headed the ball against Idrissa Gueye’s arm, but the initial call was overruled after a VAR check to the anger of Tunisia’s players. Key Opta Facts- Senegal have won their last four AFCON games, their best streak in the competition.- Tunisia have lost four of their six AFCON semi-finals.- Six out of 13 penalties have been missed during the 2019 AFCON, a record in a single edition since Opta started collecing the data in 2010.- This was the first time that two penalties have been saved in the same AFCON game since Opta started collecing the data in 2010. read more
Manchester City won the Community Shield for the second year in a row after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat of Liverpool following a 1-1 draw at Wembley.City were the best team in the first 45 minutes even after losing Bayern Munich-linked Leroy Sane to injury, with Raheem Sterling giving them a deserved half-time lead with his first goal against Liverpool in his 11th outing versus his old club.Jurgen Klopp’s side improved after the break, though, and Joel Matip’s leveller was just reward for their efforts, as City started to wilt in the warm conditions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The excellent Claudio Bravo made sure the game went to penalties and proved the hero when he kept out Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort, allowing Gabriel Jesus to seal victory.The blow of losing Sane just 11 minutes in was quickly forgotten as City made the most of the resulting free-kick, Liverpool’s offside trap all over the place as David Silva flicked Kevin De Bruyne’s cut-back across goal and Sterling forced the ball beyond Alisson.Ended 2018-19 with an @EmiratesFACup Final double……and now @sterling7 starts 2019-20 with a #CommunityShield opener! pic.twitter.com/HTDyUT6fDP— The FA (@FA) August 4, 2019City were in control but Liverpool could have levelled before the break had Mohamed Salah shown a touch of generosity, the forward clipping the outside of the post from a tight angle and then ballooning a second chance over the bar after a poor Oleksandr Zinchenko header, leaving Roberto Firmino angry not to receive a simple pass.Guardiola then became the first Premier League manager to be booked on the touchline as he reacted furiously to a challenge from Joe Gomez on David Silva, the City boss suggesting the defender’s boot had been dangerously high.Sterling hit the base of the post – although any goal would have been ruled out for offside – as City started the second half strongly, with Guardiola and Klopp resisting the urge to make the most of the maximum six available substitutions at the break.Liverpool suddenly threatened a leveller and were twice denied by the woodwork, Virgil van Dijk hitting the base of the crossbar with a half-volley and Salah firing against the foot of the right-hand post from the edge of the box.Sterling then raced through on Alisson but dithered on the ball and the goalkeeper calmly took it back, and it proved a costly miss, with Matip nodding an equaliser past Bravo after Van Dijk picked him out in the six-yard box.3 – Three of Joel Matip’s four goals for Liverpool have been scored in London (Selhurst Park, London Stadium, Wembley), with three of the four also coming from headers. Capital. #CommunityShield pic.twitter.com/1DHnHgkJAu— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 4, 2019Bravo prevented Naby Keita and Salah from snatching late winners, and the latter was denied from another glorious chance as Kyle Walker’s acrobatic clearance on the goal line forced a shoot-out.Bravo saved comfortably from Wijnaldum’s spot-kick – the only one that was missed – before Jesus confidently swept the ball past Alisson and sparked City celebrations.What does it mean? Little to split the Premier League’s top twoCity claimed the bragging rights and were certainly the better side early on, but this was another indicator that their league title crown will come under serious threat this season.Liverpool have not had a particularly encouraging pre-season and there were similar problems laid bare here. The usually imperious defence looked uneasy, Roberto Firmino is short of sharpness and the place for Divock Origi is not wide on the left.That said, they outplayed City after the break and really should have won in normal time. They look ready to push Guardiola’s men all the way again in the top flight.Bravo brilliantCity’s first choice in pre-season while Ederson had an extended break, Bravo was the only reason Liverpool did not win the game in normal time. He then saved Wijnaldum’s penalty to secure the trophy.Zinchenko unconvincingLiverpool seemed to target Zinchenko and there were times when it was easy to see why. He was outmuscled by Salah too often, twice headed straight to red shirts within 20 yards of his own goal, and it was his foul that led to the equaliser. Key Opta facts65 – During the Community Shield final, Virgil van Dijk was dribbled past for the first time in his last 65 competitive appearances (by Gabriel Jesus) for @LFC since Mikel Merino did so for Newcastle in March 2018. Human. #CommunityShield pic.twitter.com/24B6WFcKUw— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 4, 2019ArsenalFA CupManchester UnitedChelseaWhat’s next?City begin their Premier League title defence away to West Ham on Saturday. Liverpool kick off the top-flight season on Friday at home to Norwich City. read more – Manchester City have won the Community Shield for a sixth time and are the first side to retain the trophy since in August 2015.- Manchester City are the first side to win the Community Shield having won both the Premier League and the in the previous season since Arsenal in August 2002 (beating Liverpool 1-0).- Including penalty shootout defeats, only and (nine each) have ended up on the losing side on more occasions in the Community Shield final than Liverpool (seven – level with Arsenal).- In all competitions, Man City have won just two of their last 13 meetings with Liverpool (D4 L7), however they are unbeaten in their last three games against the Reds (W1 D2).- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last eight games at Wembley Stadium since losing to Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup semi-final (W6 D2), the longest ongoing such unbeaten run among club sides.- Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in seven goals in his last four appearances for club and country at Wembley Stadium (six goals and one assist).
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 31: Damon Webb #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Malik Hooker #24 react during the first half of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)A year ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes finished with a 12-2 record that included a Big Ten title and a Cotton Bowl victory over USC. But the Bucks didn’t qualify for the College Football Playoff – mostly because of a loss to Iowa – and therefore didn’t accomplish every goal they set out to.In 2018, of course, expectations are high, yet again. The Buckeyes will be replacing quarterback J.T. Barrett – most likely with Dwayne Haskins – but they’re still one of the favorites to play for it all in January.Their schedule features some tough games – including TCU, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan. But the Bucks should get off to a decent start. Ohio State will take on Oregon State, a Pac-12 cellar dweller, in its first game of the season.ESPN, right now, is giving Ohio State a 98.8% chance to prevail in the contest. Ohio State enters the season with an FPI rank of No. 4, while Oregon State comes in at No. 98.As noted, a few of Ohio State’s games are projected to be much closer. ESPN thinks that Ohio State’s game at Penn State – in late September – will be close. Ohio State is given a 51.8% chance to win that one.The other close game, obviously, is Michigan. The Buckeyes are given a 71% chance to beat the Wolverines at home.No, these projects are never spot-on. ESPN did not have Ohio State losing to Iowa last season. That said, Oregon State probably won’t prove to be much of a challenge in week one.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)A major college football program just announced that five key players have been suspended for the season opener. The news of the suspension comes right before kickoff.Illinois announced moments ago that five players – Bennett Williams, Carmoni Green, Nate Hobbs, Lou Dorsey and Deon Pate – have been suspended “indefinitely.”“BREAKING: News just passed out to everyone in press box… Bennett Williams, Carmoni Green, Nate Hobbs, Lou Dorsey and Deon Pate are all suspended indefinitley for violation of team rules,” Elias Schuster tweeted.BREAKING: News just passed out to everyone in press box… Bennett Williams, Carmoni Green, Nate Hobbs, Lou Dorsey and Deon Pate are all suspended indefinitley for violation of team rules.Larry Boyd and Verdis Brown will redshirt. #Illini— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) September 1, 2018Williams is a sophomore DB, Green is a sophomore WR, Hobbs is a sophomore DB, Dorsey is a sophomore TE and Pate is a redshirt freshman defensive lineman.Illinois is taking on Kent State this afternoon. The Illini are leading, 3-0, a couple of minutes into the game.The game is on BTN.
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 22: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers passes against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on September 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)Monday afternoon, Clemson fans are getting a good update on star freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. His neck injury does not appear to be too serious.Lawrence, who was named the team’s starter last week, suffered what appeared to be a serious neck injury during his team’s victory over Syracuse on Saturday. Lawrence was pulled from the game and immediately placed into concussion protocol.The school didn’t issue many updates over the weekend, but Monday morning, ESPN’s David Hale is reporting that Lawrence has “more of a neck strain than anything.” He might even practice tonight.That’s huge news for a Clemson program that saw senior Kelly Bryant announced he’d be transferring after Lawrence was named the starter last week.Jeff Scott says there’s a chance Trevor Lawrence could practice tonight. Still in concussion protocol, but sounds like it was more of a neck strain than anything, per med staff.— A David Hale joint (@DavidHaleESPN) October 1, 2018Clemson, despite losing Lawrence, was able to rally late against Syracuse and preserve its undefeated season. It’ll need a healthy Lawrence to truly compete for a national title, however.Clemson’s next game comes this weekend against Wake Forest. It’s too early to know whether Lawrence will be available for the contest.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has taken to Twitter to apologize for what he said during Saturday night’s Texas-Oklahoma State game.A comment from the ESPN college football analyst was not sitting well with one of Texas’ former star players, who called out Herbstreit on social media.Herbstreit was speaking really highly of Keaontay Ingram, Texas’ star freshman running back, and talking about how he was showing flashes of elite play that we hadn’t seen from the position with the Longhorns in recent season.The ESPN analyst was forgetting about D’Onta Foreman, an All-American running back at Texas in 2016.Foreman called out Herbie on Twitter.“Ingram showing more elite flashes then than any running back from Texas in the last 5-6 years how fast do they forget ???” he tweeted.Herbstreit responded with an apology:“My sincere apologies. Obviously you had a brilliant career in Austin. That’s 1000% on me. My bad.”My sincere apologies. Obviously you had a brilliant career in Austin. That’s 1000% on me. My bad. https://t.co/J8U4aa1Jda— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 28, 2018That’s a fair response.Texas had a tougher night, dropping to 6-2 on the season with the loss to Oklahoma State.
ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Interim head coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts during The AdvoCare Showdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Ryan Day has the somewhat unenviable task of not only replacing Urban Meyer at Ohio State, but replicating his tremendous success. Heading into his first year as a full-time head coach, his predecessor noted one potential challenge Day might have.Speaking to Colin Cowherd this past week, Meyer revealed that Day’s ability to make the team into his vision will depend on him enacting any changes he feels needs to be made. Essentially, Day needs to be able to identify problems and come up with the solutions quickly.“It has its own set of challenges, but the the most important thing is he has to change what he thinks needs to be changed…”“He’s a very smart persona and like I said, he’s going to change what he believes needs to be changed. What exactly is that? That’s going to be up to coach Day and we’re all here to help him.”Day thrived as the temporary replacement for Urban Meyer at the start of the 2018 season following Meyer’s three-game suspension. When Meyer announced his retirement at the end of the year, Day was named his successor.Ohio State has certainly shown its commitment to Day from the get-go, giving him an incentive-laden, five-year deal worth upwards of $4.5 million annually. One front where Day is already making changes is on the recruiting trail, where he has reportedly been working to bring as many top in-state recruits as possible to Columbus.Ohio State has won back-to-back Big Ten titles, but has been snubbed from the College Football Playoff in each of the last two years.Urban Meyer managed to lead Ohio State to a national title the year of the tournament’s inception, and the expectations on Day will certainly be to at least get back to it.
Sorry for the wait……..”The Commitment” @jaylan_knighton edition live on the Tony Sands Show!https://t.co/8TyiZLOlND pic.twitter.com/jvEIsWQKIl— Dfld Bch Football (@DB_BucksFB) July 10, 2019As for his potential destination, the site’s Crystal Ball Predictions have given the Buckeyes a 56-percent chance of landing him.Ohio State does hold the distinction of being one of the only official visits that Knighton has made in the last few months.He has, however, met with coaches and scouts from the other schools on his list.Nevertheless, there appears to be a growing sense among fans that he is bound for Columbus.Obvious that he is going to Ohio $tate.— NoleBlooded (@3X_CF_Champs) July 10, 2019 pic.twitter.com/2sAyuePFOr— Gold Pants (@TheeeeChad) July 10, 2019 pic.twitter.com/WHMSy1C8U7— Orange (@cgorange) July 10, 2019Knighton committed to Oklahoma in April of last year, but continued to visit other schools and attend camps. He ultimately de-committed from the Sooners in January. COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 18: A general view of Ohio Stadium as more than 99,000 fans packed in to watch the annual Ohio State Spring Game on April 18, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Since de-committing from Oklahoma, four-star running back Jaylen Knighton has been making the rounds, trying to find a new school. It would appear he’s getting close to his decision as he recently narrowed down the list.On Tuesday, Knighton revealed via the Deerfield Beach High School football team’s Twitter account that he would be making his new commitment on July 30. His final six currently consists of Clemson, Florida State, Miami, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.247Sports rates Knighton as the No. 108 overall prospect in the country.He is the No. 3 all-purpose back in the nation, and the No. 16 prospect from the state of Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – OCTOBER 1: Quarterback Malik Henry #6 of the Florida State Seminoles before the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on October 1, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. North Carolina upset the 12th ranked Florida State 37 to 35. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)Former top college football quarterback recruit turned Last Chance U star Malik Henry has had quite the career so far.Unfortunately for the talented quarterback, much of that career has been filled with disappointment. Henry couldn’t last at Florida State and appeared to struggle during his time at Independence C.C.Henry is now at Nevada, though, and he appeared to be primed for a big year. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, though.Nevada has named its Week 1 starting quarterback and it’s Carson Strong. Redshirt freshman Carson Strong named Nevada’s starting QB, @CoachJayNorvell told @Stadium. Strong beat out transfer Malik Henry, formerly of Florida State & Independence CC. The Wolf Pack host Purdue in their season opener Aug. 30— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 18, 2019Henry, a top recruit coming out of high school in 2016, had a great spring at Nevada, shining in the school’s spring game. He completed 16 of 28 passes for a game-high 211 yards and a touchdown.“I really just have to stay in the playbook, stay around my guys,” Henry said after the game. “Working on timing routes, make sure we all have great chemistry. If we do that I think we’ll go out there and be a well-oiled machine. We’ll be able to flow, the offense will be running smoothly. I think we just need more time together.”Henry, though, will not be starting for Nevada when the program opens its season on Friday, Aug. 30.Nevada is set to play Purdue at 9:30 p.m. E.T. on Aug. 30.