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Published: Sunday, December 31, 2018 @ 11:58 PM
Updated: Monday, January 01, 2018 @ 12:02 AM
— The Cincinnati Bengals have some chicken wings coming their way.
The dramatic 31-27 victory that eliminated the Ravens from playoff contention clinched a spot in the postseason for the Buffalo Bills for the first time in 17 years.
The Bills defeated the Dolphins on Sunday and then watched Andy Dalton’s stunning 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left from their locker room.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:51 AM
Another day, another explosive performance from Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young.
Just one week after dropping 43 points on the Horned Frogs to tie his career-high, Young outdid himself yet again.
Unlike against TCU, though, in which his borderline heroic shooting display was enough for a 102-97 overtime victory, Young wasn’t able to carry the Sooners to another Big 12 win over Saturday. On the road against in-state foe Oklahoma State, Young set a new career-best with a mind-boggling 48 points. The effort fell just short, though, as Oklahoma loss to Oklahoma State in overtime, 83-81, as a Young heave at the buzzer fell short.
But as seen by his 48 points, which was complemented by 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks, Young put forth one of the best performances in college basketball this season.
— Overtime (@overtime) January 21, 2018
The 48-point performance now stands as the best single-game scoring effort in a loss in Oklahoma school history.
With Young and the Sooners having come up just short against the Cowboys, Oklahoma is now riding a two-game winning streak after climbing to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. Stopping the skid won’t come easy, either, as Oklahoma’s next game comes against a surging Kansas squad that’s ranked within the top itself.
The Sooners and Jayhawks are set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 23 on ESPN.
The post WATCH: Oklahoma PG Trae Young explodes for 48 points in OT loss to Oklahoma State appeared first on Diehards.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:00 AM
The 2018 NFL Draft is once again expected to be loaded with talented players. A numbers elite players declared for the draft, such as Sam Darnold, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. Baker Mayfield is expected to take center-stage at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
This draft figures to be quarterback heavy, with potentially four signal callers, Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield and Josh Allen going among the top-10 picks. Of the non-quarterbacks, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and Texas’ Connor Williams could be selected in the top 5.
The order for the first 20 picks is set.
*Order is through the Divisional round of the NFL playoff. The top 20 picks are official. Picks 29-32 will finalize after each round of the playoffs. San Francisco and Oakland will hold a coin flip for picks 9 and 10.
Pick Nos. 1 through 20 are set now that the regular season is finished.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Denver Broncos
6. New York Jets
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Buffalo Bills
22. Buffalo Bills(Via Kansas City)
23. Carolina Panthers
24. Los Angeles Rams
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:30 AM
AUBURN, Ala. — Mustapha Heron was struggling heading into the second half Saturday against Georgia, and Auburn basketball needed him to snap out of it.
So Auburn coach Bruce Pearl drew up the first play of the second half for Heron, the former 5-star guard who was held scoreless before halftime thanks in large part to early foul trouble.
“I wanted him to just set a screen, get a screen and shoot a 3,” Pearl said. “I didn’t care if it was contested or not, I wanted him to shoot it. We had to get him going. He knocked that 3 down, and after that, he was ready to just play.”
That 3-pointer was Heron’s first made shot from downtown in two full weeks. His last one came in an upset win over Arkansas on Jan. 6.
“He said it was going to come to me, so I had to knock it down,” Heron said.
A few minutes later, Heron threw down one of the best dunks the fans inAuburn Arena have ever seen — a mammoth slam through a foul. That gave Auburn the lead, erasing what was a 14-point halftime deficit in what would become a 14-point win for the Tigers.
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) January 21, 2018
“I was expecting them to come out hard on the next shot that I’d try to take,” Heron said. “It was a late close-out. I waited for him, and then I kind of went by him. Then I just tried to attack the rim as hard as I could, because I knew the big was going to rotate over. I just tried to finish.”
Heron finished, and he did it with an authority his teammates didn’t even know he had.
“I honestly did not see that coming,” junior guard Bryce Brown said. “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe what I just saw. I mean, Staph is definitely an explosive player, but I didn’t see that coming. That was amazing right there.”
When the horn sounded on the Tigers’ latest double-digit comeback win in SEC play, Heron had 14 points and a team-high 3 steals in 21 minutes of action. He finished with a plus-26 in plus/minus, which was the second-highest for the Tigers.
“It was just getting the flow in the game,” Heron said. “That was pretty much it. Just being in the game.”
It couldn’t come at a better time for Auburn. While Heron isn’t Auburn’s leading scorer or rebounder, his success has gone a long way toward the Tigers’ success this season.
Heron has been held to single-digits in scoring just three times this season. Two of those games are Auburn’s two losses so far in 2017-18. The other one was a blowout win over Gardner-Webb in which Heron played only nine minutes due to injury.
Heron was fresh off a rough night against Alabama. He just hit 2 of his 7 shots for 5 points, and he turned the ball over four times in the loss. His two quick fouls against Georgia seemed to signal another subpar performance in a rivalry defeat.
That all changed when Heron hit the opening 3-pointer of the second half and found his rhythm again.
“He’s one of our go-to guys, and getting him going helps everybody get going,” Brown said. “We see him get going, so all of us decide to lock up on the defensive end and make plays and hit him in the right spots. … Getting him going was big for us in this win.”
Auburn doesn’t need Heron to score 20-plus points per game in what has been a balanced and deadly offense this season. But the Tigers need him to attack defenses in the flow of the game and be an all-around threat whenever he gets the ball in his hands. Pearl thought Heron did a better job of that after halftime Saturday.
“I would like to see him be more aggressive catching and shooting,” Pearl said. “He is a beautiful shooter, and sometimes he will catch it and just shot-fake it. When he shot-fakes it, sometimes he will settle for what I think is an OK mid-range jump shot. I would rather him shot-fake it, drive it and dunk it. I would rather him shot-fake it, drive it and go get a teammate a 3-ball.”
Pearl would definitely prefer the former, if Heron can do it like he did Saturday.
“When [Georgia’s Derek Ogbeidi] comes over there to block his shot and he throws it down like that — there just aren’t many guys that can do that,” Pearl said. “That is next-level stuff. We could not win the game if Mustapha didn’t come back and accept responsibility, and he did. I am really proud of him for that.”
The post How Auburn basketball got Mustapha Heron out of slump in latest come-from-behind victory appeared first on SEC Country.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:17 AM
Miami hasn’t yet officially acknowledged the news that cornerback Malek Young suffered a career-ending neck injury in the Orange Bowl loss to Wisconsin, but the reaction of Hurricanes players really says it all.
Young was Miami’s bests cornerback and now that he’s gone, once people have come to grips with this unfortunate reality, heads are going to start turning towards Trajan Brandy to help fill the void and start alongside Michael Jackson. That might not be altogether fair, but it’s a reality he has to brace for and a challenge he’ll have to accept nonetheless.
It’s a cruel world that just over half a day after the news came to light we have to consider the consequences of the loss. But it’s the one we live in.
As Miami’s coaching staff continues to support Young in whatever comes next for the young man after his playing days have come to an end, they’re also looking ahead to what’s next. If Young’s nameplate hasn’t yet come off the depth chart in Mark Richt’s office (a permanent fixture in every head coach’s office) it will soon.
And chances are it’s Brandy’s nameplate that slides up for the time being, but it will be up to him to make sure it’s no band-aid. Because Miami’s talented 2018 recruiting class has already delivered two 4-star cornerbacks (Gilbert Frierson and D.J. Ivey) with another (Al Blades, Jr.) having already signed his letter of intent.
They’re also in the running for American Heritage 5-stars Patrick Surtain, Jr. and Tyson Campbell who would both be immediate threats to work their way into the starting lineup no matter when they arrived on campus.
But Brandy has shown a lot in his only season in Coral Gables and that will earn him first crack.
The former 4-star recruit earned a role during camp and played in all 13 games, making 3 starts. He made 25 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss) and broke up 6 passes which was good for third-most on the team. He also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in Miami’s biggest win of the season over Notre Dame.
Brandy earned Richt’s confidence and that’s something that every incoming cornerback will have to do before mounting any attempt to crack the rotation. So he’s in a good position to win a starting job.
Losing Young is remarkably hard and it’s unfortunate to see a good kid whose future as a football player seemed so bright cut down by something totally beyond his control. And it puts Miami in a temporary bind, but they’re in the fortunate position of having the talent to survive.
You don’t replace Malek Young and you shouldn’t want to. But football is unfair and when it chooses to test a team’s ability to cope with adversity the only two options are forward or backward.
Brandy could be their way forward. Maybe not.
However, he’s going to face the pressure either way so he’s better off embracing it and earning his place in Miami history by stepping in and stepping up when they need him most.