Garrett, Kizer shine in Browns’ preseason-opening win over Saints

Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 11:24 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 11:26 PM

Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) runs against New Orleans Saints defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (97) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) runs against New Orleans Saints defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (97) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Myles Garrett showed flashes of dominance in his NFL exhibition debut, and Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a late touchdown pass and the Browns beat New Orleans 20-14 on Thursday night while Saints stars Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson watched.

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The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Garrett had a tackle for loss and blazed off the edge to pressure Saints backup QB Garrett Grayson in the first half.

The Browns haven’t solved their endless QB dilemma, but Garrett appears to be a long-term answer at defensive end.

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Garrett vowed to “send a message” in his first preseason game as a pro, and he did just that in limited time. On one play, Garrett timed the snap perfectly and pushed past third-string tackle Khalif Barnes to hit Grayson.

Kizer completed a 45-yard TD pass to Jordan Payton with 1:52 left as the Browns rallied for their first preseason win in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson.

The Saints lost their 10th straight preseason game.

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As expected, Brees didn’t play and neither did Peterson, New Orleans’ new addition who signed with the club as a free agent in April after 10 seasons in Minnesota.

And while New Orleans can count on the 38-year-old Brees to lead them, the Browns’ QB search is still stalled.

Brock Osweiler started and struggled during his four series, Cody Kessler didn’t do much to help his cause and Kizer shook off a slow start, played the entire second half and went 11 of 18 for 184 yards against second- and third-teamers.

Osweiler has been Cleveland’s most consistent quarterback in camp, and while he was picked to start the preseason opener, Jackson cautioned that the competition isn’t over “by any stretch.”

Oswelier finished 6 of 14 for 42 yards, but overthrew several passes and had three incompletions inside the Saints 10-yard line.

Chase Daniel started at quarterback for Brees and completed 4 of 6 passes for 27 yards.

SITTING OUT

Saints: Brees warmed up but spent the evening on the sideline wearing a baseball cap. He’s expected to play at some point in the preseason as is Peterson, who stayed close to his QB during the first half. Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore, a first-round pick from Ohio State, injured his knee during practice this week and didn’t play.

Browns: Pro Bowler Joe Thomas got the night off. He was replaced at left tackle by Cam Erving, who is battling Shon Coleman for the starting job on the right side. Erving, who failed miserably at center, was called for a false start and hold on consecutive plays to end Cleveland’s first offensive possession.

NICE SNAG

Saints WR Tommylee Lewis made a diving catch for 32 yards and had 10 for 128 yards. Lewis is battling for a backup job.

ROOKIE WATCH

Saints: With Mark Ingram also out, RB Alvin Kamara started. The third-round pick from Tennessee ripped off a 22-yard run and had 35 yards on four carries.

Browns: S Jabrill Peppers served as the initial kick returner. He ran back one for 27 yards, returned a punt for 13 and made a fair catch he immediately regretted. RB Matthew Dayes scored the game’s first TD on a 1-yard plunge.

INJURIES

Saints: QB Ryan Nassib was checked for a head injury in the fourth quarter, but came back for the final drive.

Browns: Starting safety Ibraheim Campbell sustained a concussion on the second play from scrimmage.

Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:04 PM

Oklahoma-Oklahoma Sooners-CeeDee Lamb-Kenneth Murray-All-Americans

The Oklahoma Sooners have extended an offer to one of the best prospects in Texas, who just so happens to attend the alma mater of Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis (TX). Garrett Wilson is his name, and the highly recruited prospect will visit Oklahoma on February 17th.

Wilson had a staggering 98 catches for 1,728 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior. He was also responsible for a number of highlight-reel caliber plays over the course of the year.

Wilson was also used on the ground at Lake Travis, rushing 17 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He completed three of the four passes he attempted on the season, and threw for a touchdown. He was also an AP second team All-State performer.

The four-star prospect holds offers from nearly every college in the nation, and 247’s Crystal Ball projections are split down the middle between Ohio State and Texas.

The post Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas appeared first on Diehards.

Kentucky basketball: Wildcats react to late, controversial no-call on tying attempt

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari couldn’t believe he was asked about the no-call that went against Kentucky in the final seconds of a 66-64 loss Saturday to Florida, but surely the coach knew the question was coming.

“I’ve been asked some dumb questions in my life — I don’t mean to embarrass you — but everybody saw it,” Calipari said of the contact.

PJ Washington rose for a put in when it appeared that a Florida player hit Washington in the face while trying to rip the ball away. Kentucky threw the ball away on the impending inbounds pass with 2.5 seconds left to seal the Gators’ win.

“I can’t control officiating, but obviously in the heat of the moment I thought he got fouled,” sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel said.

Freshman center Nick Richards went a different route with his reaction to the play.

“Next question, please,” Richards said. “Sorry, I’m not going to talk about that. … We actually did it to ourselves. We made certain plays at the end … basically did it to ourselves. We dug that hole ourselves.”

Boos rained down from a sold-out Rupp Arena after the game. Kentucky fans were furious at the lack of a foul call.

“I saw my guys flying around, trying to make plays, hands on balls,” Florida coach Mike White said of the no-call.

Kentucky fell to 14-5 and 4-3 in the SEC.

Watch: John Calipari’s press conference after Kentucky’s loss to Florida

WATCH: John Calipari after Kentucky's loss to Florida

Posted by Kentucky Wildcats – SEC Country on Saturday, January 20, 2018

The 3-pointer: What we learned from Alabama basketball’s XX Mississippi State

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:36 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball needed all 40 minutes to put away the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night.

After building a 20-point lead, Alabama watched it all slip away and had to hang on for a 68-62 victory inside Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama was without star freshman Collin Sexton (abdominal) for the second straight game.

Offense needed

Alabama missed Collin Sexton’s offensive punch against the Bulldogs. Only two Crimson Tide players — Braxton Key and Daniel Giddens — were able to score in double figures on Saturday night.

Luckily for Alabama that Mississippi State dug a big hole to start, and the Crimson Tide was able to hang on.

Braxton Key finding his confidence

The moment the three-pointer dropped, Braxton Key threw up his hands as if to say “about time.” Key has struggled offensively since returning from his knee injury, but he appeared to return to form on Saturday night.

Key surpassed the double-digit mark for the first time this year, scoring 16 points in 28 minutes. Key made some gutsy plays throughout the contest, including a layup with one minute remaining that proved to be the difference.

Having Key play well is paramount for Alabama, especially with Collin Sexton out but also for when he returns. Sexton, Key and John Petty could give Alabama a nice scoring punch from the perimeter.

Near meltdown

A win is a win, but Alabama basketball did everything in its power to lose this game. The Crimson Tide led by as many as 20 points, and looked ready to cruise to victory. Sloppy play and scoring droughts along with hot shooting from Mississippi State allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game.

It’ll be interesting to see how Avery Johnson evaluates this one. On one hand, you’re happy with the victory, but at the same time, Johnson can’t be pleased with how his team played down the stretch. That will get you beat against good teams.

Up next for Alabama basketball

Alabama will play its lone road contest in the current five-game stretch when it travels to face the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on the SEC Network.

Controversial call: Did refs miss no-call in final seconds of Florida-Kentucky finish?

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:32 PM

It wouldn’t be SEC basketball without a little bit of controversy at the end of games. Saturday night’s thriller between Florida and Kentucky was no different.

The Gators came away victorious, winning 66-64 in Lexington. And Kentucky certainly had its chances to tie or win the game down the stretch.

But it’s worth wondering if forward P.J. Washington should’ve been awarded free throws for this physical drive in the game’s waning moments. Decide for yourself:

Washington was not given credit for drawing the foul, and the Wildcats turned it over on the inbounds play with 2.5 seconds remaining. Ball game.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas was on the call, and declared it was a missed call by the officials.

This is Kentucky’s second straight loss, and it moves them back to 4-3 in SEC play. That’s a big disappointment for John Calipari in the Wildcats, who now have a great deal of work to do if they want to get back to the top of the conference.

Meanwhile, Florida is now 6-1 in the SEC and sits a half game ahead of Auburn in the conference standings.

Come tournament time, that no-call could prove to be very important.

Kentucky closes out the regular season with another meeting against Florida, this time in Gainesville, on March 3.