Bayern München James to miss ‘a few days’ of Bayern training with calf injury Ryan Benson 00:38 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Bayern München UEFA Champions League Bayern München v Beşiktaş Beşiktaş The Colombian suffered a calf strain against Besiktas on Tuesday, but his club do not expect him to be out for long The calf injury James Rodriguez suffered in Tuesday’s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Besiktas is only a “slight problem”, Bayern Munich have confirmed.James went off just before half-time, with the Colombia international showing few signs of pain as he exited the field. There were initial suspicions he was withdrawn due to a knock to the head, having looked dazed shortly beforehand after getting struck by the ball. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But Bayern confirmed after the game that the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder felt his calf tighten.And, following investigations from Bayern’s medical team on Wednesday, they have come to the conclusion he should only need to miss “a few days of training”.A club statement read: “Bayern midfielder James was not seriously injured in yesterday’s [Tuesday] Champions League game against Besiktas.We hope it’s not too serious, @jamesdrodriguez! #MiaSanMia #FCBBJK 1-0 pic.twitter.com/XuCapUGsw0— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) February 20, 2018″An in-depth investigation confirmed the first diagnosis of the club doctor. The Colombian has only slight problems in the muscles of the left calf and thus has to miss a few days of training.”
Neymar ‘We’d prefer to play with the world’s best player’ – PSG lament Neymar injury Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 16:45 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Neymar PSG PSG v Real Madrid Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Antero Henrique does not believe the 26-year-old has suffered a “nightmare” problem but cursed the timing for the Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Antero Henrique has lamented the timing of Neymar’s injury as he branded the forward “the world’s best player”.The 26-year-old sustained a broken bone in his foot playing against Marseille last Sunday, and though he underwent successful surgery in Brazil, PSG believe that the player they bought for €222 million from Barcelona last summer will be missing from training for six weeks.Consequently, he will not be available for the club’s return match against Real Madrid in the Champions League and with the Parisians seeking to overcome a 3-1 deficit, Henrique admits he will be sorely missed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “On the field, he’s the best player in the world,” the sporting director told L’Equipe. “He helps us in a fantastic way.”But off the field he helps us, too, with his spirit, his relationship with the other players, staff and the fans. “Even if can’t play against Real, we feel that Neymar’s with us. He’s already sent many messages of encouragement.”Henrique has explained that the injury the forward has sustained is not a severe one, but that its timing is unfortunate.”It’s not a nightmare,” he said. “It’s a classic football injury, he can run.”It just comes at the wrong time, before this crucial meeting with Real. We’d prefer to play with the best player in the world than without him – that makes sense.”Neymar is the leader of the team, but his team-mates will give everything for him and the club.”
MLS Bob Bradley’s LAFC makes statement with debut MLS win in Seattle Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives Last updated 1 year ago 14:31 5/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Steven Bisig MLS Los Angeles Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles Seattle Sounders The expansion side enjoyed a dream start to life in MLS, with Diego Rossi’s winning goal and Tyler Miller’s big saves sparking an season-opening upset Bob Bradley hadn’t coached a match in more than a year, the longest such stretch of his coaching career, but he was rewarded for that wait on Sunday, as his Los Angeles FC made a dream start to life in Major League Soccer.The expansion MLS side went into CenturyLink Field and knocked off the two-time defending Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders, 1-0, to become the first team since those very same Sounders in 2009 to kick off an expansion season with a shutout victory, and first since the 2011 Vancouver Whitecaps to win their MLS debut.It was far from a dominant performance, and came, at least in part, with the help of the fact the Sounders rested some starters. But that doesn’t take away from the reality that LAFC looked like and played like a real team and not a collection of parts hastily thrown together, which can sometimes be the case with first-year squads. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “When you’re starting out as a team, you have to learn how to win different kinds of games,” Bradley said. “A lot of guys gave big efforts.”The dynamic duo of Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi figured to be the focal point of LAFC’s attack this season and needed just 11 minutes to let the rest of the league know just what a problem they will be to defend. Rossi’s one-time blast was the fastest debut goal by an MLS expansion team in league history, and while LAFC couldn’t generate a second, Rossi’s thunderbolt was a worthy first strike.Just as impressive was the defense Bradley was able to build, one that will help LAFC contend in year one. Even with Walker Zimmerman forced out of the lineup before kickoff, the defense was still good enough to keep a dangerous Sounders attack at bay, though it needed goalkeeper Tyler Miller to make a handful of excellent saves against his former team.The Sounders made LAFC earn it, even though veterans Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall sat the match out to be ready for a vital CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal clash with Chivas on Wednesday. Seattle still had enough firepower to spoil the visiting team’s MLS debut, especially with second-half substitutes Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Handwalla Bwana giving the Sounders a much-needed spark, forcing Miller into a total of seven saves on the night.As much as Seattle was missing key players, LAFC was also without some top options as well. Egyptian midfielder Omar Gaber was left on the bench after having been injured in preseason, Zimmerman was forced out, and newly-acquired Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta had yet to integrate into the squad. Throw in long-rumored designated player target Andre Horta, who could still be signed during the current transfer window, and you realize how far away LAFC still is from being the finished product.Nobody knows how much further there is still to go than Bob Bradley, who took the expansion Chicago Fire to an MLS Cup title 20 years ago. He knows how important a good preseason foundation was to build on, but also knows there is no rush to have his team reach its full potential just yet. Unlike his last job — Bradley’s doomed stint at Swansea City — the former U.S. national team coach actually had a hand in building this team. From Miller, who Bradley took first in the MLS expansion draft, to Benny Feilhaber, who he took to the 2010 World Cup during his time as U.S. coach, to first-round draft pick Joao Moutinho, who showed well in his professional debut.“I don’t think we showed, football-wise, what we’re capable of, but that’s only going to get better,” Bradley said. “I’m very confident that, as we build this team, that we’re going to see some real football.”LAFC still has plenty to work on, including how better to hold onto the ball in order to avoid being bombarded with pressure like we saw on Sunday, but the foundation is clearly there for LAFC to be a strong expansion team, rather than a pushover. With a tough defensive nucleus, and the Vela-Rossi tandem up top, the newest MLS team is already a handful and will only get tougher as the final pieces to the puzzle are added in the coming weeks.Things won’t get any easier for the club though. LAFC faces a tough opening schedule, with five more road games looming before unveiling its new stadium with a visit from none other than the same Sounders team it just defeated. Earning points during this season-opening road trip is key to improving the team’s chances of being a serious playoff contender.”A lot of positives, great to win, but still a lot of work to do,” Bradley said.Could LAFC follow the path of Bradley’s previous expansion team and win a title? It’s way too early for that sort of talk, but what was made clear on Sunday is that Bradley made the most of his time away from the sidelines and has put together a team ready to be competitive against the very best that MLS has to offer.
eSports Sterling & Willian feature in new FIFA 18 Path to Glory team Harry Sherlock 02:00 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images eSports Raheem Sterling Premier League Serie A Manchester City Juventus Liverpool Primera División Bundesliga The two Premier League wingers are a part of the team of World Cup hopefuls, which also includes the likes of Roberto Firmino EA Sports have announced a fresh batch of Path to Glory players available in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team, including the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Willian and Raheem Sterling.EA released the initial group of players, featuring a mix of established stars like PSG’s Javier Pastore and young talent like Marcus Rashford at Manchester United, last year.With the World Cup in Russia approaching, the squads comprise players looking to earn a spot in their national team squads ahead of the summer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp They are available in packs and on the transfer market, and feature boosted stats.Higuain starts with a base rating of 92, a boost of two from his base of 90, while Raheem Sterling moves from a left winger to a central attacking midfielder, with a huge rating of 87.Path to Glory players will see their stats further boosted based on the strength of their real-life performances.This will be reflected in the game when one of the players is included in a FIFA Team of the Week, Man of the Match, European Team of the Tournament, Hero or Record Breaker in-form release.When that happens, the ratings on their Path to Glory card will be automatically updated in line with their latest in-form card.
United States Projecting the USA squad for the friendly against Paraguay Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives Last updated 1 year ago 01:41 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images United States United States v Paraguay Paraguay Friendlies With no official matches to play for more than a year, the U.S. national team’s March friendly feels even more like a time to experiment If you’ve been starving for meaningful U.S. national team matches to look forward to, the wait just got longer.CONCACAF’s announcement earlier this week of the format for the new Nations League competition revealed what had already been feared, that the United States won’t be playing a meaningful match until the summer of 2019, at the Gold Cup. The U.S. won’t begin Nations League play until the fall of 2019, meaning we have 16 months before U.S. players will return to action with something tangible on the line.The wait isn’t quite so long when you think about the looming appointment of a new head coach, which is expected to be made after the World Cup. Once a new boss is in charge, the work to impress him and earn places in the next World Cup qualifying cycle can begin, making his first friendlies with the U.S. vitally important. There won’t be Nations Cup matches to play, but there is a good chance high-profile friendlies against South American powers like Argentina and Brazil will be on the docket. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp That is still more than six months away though, and with the next U.S. match likely to take place in late May, the upcoming friendly against Paraguay offers a good chance to take a look at some younger prospects who have been making waves overseas. Caretaker coach Dave Sarachan has done well to focus on youth since replacing Bruce Arena, and he should continue that when the U.S. holds its upcoming camp in Cary, North Carolina.Sarachan will have the option to call a full-strength squad due to the international window, but it still seems unlikely we will see the return of veterans like Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, or Clint Dempsey. All three are currently busy with MLS and CONCACAF Champions League, and all three would probably be best served skipping 2018 with the national team, or at the very least sitting out until a new coach is in charge. Sarachan echoed those same sentiments, making the March squad more likely to be another collection of young talent.With MLS having just kicked off, Sarachan could choose to limit the number of MLS players he calls in, especially with some MLS matches taking place during the window when the U.S. camp will be held, but the relative lack of strong foreign-based options may force him to call in at least a few MLS options.Here is a look at the team we could see called in for the March March 27 friendly against Paraguay:GOALKEEPERSBill Hamid, Ethan Horvath, Brady Scott, William YarbroughThe days of the deep crop of American goalkeepers in Europe are behind us, and the reality is there isn’t an American starting in net in a top European league. The only American netminder current starting in a foreign first division? Club Leon’s Yarbrough, who has played well enough to merit a return to the U.S. setup. The 28-year-old has been starting regularly in Liga MX, which is more than can be said Hamid, who has been stuck on the bench at Danish side Mitdjylland since moving from D.C. United on a free transfer.FC Cologne and U.S. Under-20 prospect Brady Scott impressed at the January U.S. youth summit and could merit a look, though you could make a similar case for Jonathan Klinsmann. Ethan Horvath hasn’t played in an official match for Club Brugge since October, and could thus be skipped in favor of an MLS goalkeeper. Toronto FC has a bye week during the window, which could allow Alex Bono to be called in.DEFENDERSDeAndre Yedlin, Timmy Chandler, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Matt Miazga, Erik Palmer-Brown, Justen Glad, Antonee Robinson, Shaq MooreIf there’s a position to be excited about for this camp, and squad, it’s central defense. Miazga, Carter-Vickers and Palmer-Brown are all seeing regular first-team minutes in Europe, and all three should play key roles in the next cycle. John Brooks would be a shoe-in for this camp if he hadn’t been sidelined all year with a toe injury. Without him, Sarachan could look to bring in someone like Tim Ream for a veteran presence. Geoff Cameron would seem to make more sense, but it is safe to say he has burned all his bridges with the current U.S. setup and isn’t likely to see a call-up again until a new coach is hired.At fullback, Chandler is an interesting case because he’s in the midst of an excellent season at Eintracht Frankfurt and should be a lock, but will he be called or left in Germany? Moore has fallen out of the first-team picture at Levante, but the La Liga-based right back still merits a look after having enjoyed a stretch of starts in Spain. English-born left back Antonee Robinson has been a steady starter at Bolton (on loan from Everton) and should get a look, especially at a traditionally thin position.MIDFIELDERSChristian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Keaton Parks, Kenny Saief, Danny Williams, Joe Corona, Kekuta Manneh, Kyle ScottThe New York Red Bulls have a match the weekend before the Paraguay friendly, so Tyler Adams is unlikely to be called in, but this camp is a perfect opportunity to have a look at Parks, who is enjoying a good stretch at Benfica, featuring for its reserve side in Portugal’s second division. Williams gives the team a good veteran option, and took over leadership duties when the team convened last November. D.C. United has a game during the window as well, which will likely rule out Paul Arriola.The camp should be a good opportunity for both Pulisic and McKennie to earn a start and get 90 minutes as both have fallen out of the starting lineups for their respective teams. Joe Corona isn’t an every-game starter for Club America, but he has shown well in the matches he has been given starts in.Saeif is enjoying a good stretch with Anderlecht, and hasn’t been with the U.S. since his debut last summer. Now healthy, this camp would be an excellent opportunity to bring him in and see if he can play a prominent role in the attack.Manneh has begun to earn some regular minutes with Liga MX side Pachuca, starting in the team’s past three Copa MX matches. The speedy winger has yet to play for the United States after becoming a citizen in 2016, but this camp could be a good chance to bring him into the fold.Chelsea prospect Kyle Scott made his first team debut recently, and given the fact he’s eligible for multiple countries, it may not be a bad thing to bring the U.S. Under-20 midfielder in for a look.FORWARDSAron Johannsson, Andrija Novakovich, Rubio Rubin, Timothy WeahAfter returning from injury purgatory, and the depths of the Werder Bremen bench, Johannsson is back and producing in the German Bundesliga and should be a call-up for the March camp. Novakovich has settled in well with Dutch second-division side Telstar, and the former U.S. Under-20 striker should earn a look, especially if Sarachan passes on calling in MLS options.Weah is a particularly exciting prospect. The Under-17 World Cup standout recently made his first-team debut with Paris St. Germain, and has yet to spend time with the U.S. senior team setup. The March camp would be a perfect opportunity.Rubin has settled in quickly at Club Tijuana, earning some minutes just weeks after arriving. He impressed at the U.S. January camp, and should see another look from Sarachan.
Besiktas 1 Bayern Munich 3 (1-8 agg): Heynckes’ men cruise into quarter-finals Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 02:47 15/3/2018 Twitter/@FCBayern Bayern Munich remain on track for another treble under Jupp Heynckes after easily coming through a Champions League tie with Besiktas. Thiago Alcantara scored but was substituted due to injury as Bayern Munich won 3-1 at Besiktas to cruise into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.A 5-0 victory in last month’s first leg in Munich had put Bayern in a commanding position and there was never any sign of a miraculous comeback in Istanbul on Wednesday.Thiago finished from a Thomas Muller cross to extend Bayern’s advantage and score their 100th goal of the season, but the Spain international was withdrawn before the break, coach Jupp Heynckes perhaps wishing he had rested more key names after picking a strong side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Gokhan Gonul’s own goal in the first minute of the second half appeared to settle the tie for good, before Vagner Love scrambled home his first Champions League strike since 2011 to spark Besiktas’ best period of the tie.Sandro Wagner, though, restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion with his first strike in the competition in the 84th minute.Heynckes’ men could claim the Bundesliga title at the weekend if results go their way and they remain on track for another treble, the veteran coach having won the Champions League among three trophies before departing Bayern at the end of his third spell in 2013.Bayern, who have reached the Champions League semi-finals in six of the last eight seasons, will find out their quarter-final opponents in Friday’s draw.Despite their massive first-leg lead Bayern made a bright start, Arturo Vidal heading wide.Thomas Muller scored twice in last month’s game and he should have opened the scoring in the 10th minute, blasting over the rebound after Tolga Zengin parried David Alaba’s free-kick.@Thiago6 celebrates @FCBayern’s 100th goal of the season in all comps. #UCL pic.twitter.com/MxjzHrZYRz— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 14, 2018But Muller created a fine goal for Thiago to get Bayern up and running, the midfielder timing his run into the box perfectly to tuck away a first-time finish from a pinpoint right-wing cross.Thiago limped off before half-time, giving Bayern an injury concern for the rest of the season.Besiktas had played reasonably well in the first period but the Turkish champions gifted Bayern their second moments after the restart.An innocuous right-wing cross from Rafinha should have been easy to clear, but Gonul poked the ball past Zengin under no pressure whatsoever.Referee Michael Oliver then had to briefly pause the game as a cat invaded the pitch.Miau. Miau. #BJKFCB pic.twitter.com/yPqg6Hzu89— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) March 14, 2018Besiktas gave their fans something to cheer in the 59th minute, Alaba losing the ball in his own half, with Gonul setting up Love to squeeze the ball past Jerome Boateng on the line.Mustafa Pektemek forced a save from Sven Ulreich as Besiktas tried to level the game on the night, Bayern understandably lacking energy given their comfortable position.Bayern made sure of their win, though, substitute Wagner chesting home from close range with six minutes to go after Alaba’s cross deflected up perfectly for him. Key Opta Facts:- Bayern Munich have now reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the seventh successive season.- Jupp Heynckes is the first manager in Champions League history to win 11 consecutive games.- Bayern have now won six Champions League matches in a row, their best-ever run in a single campaign in the competition.- The last time Bayern won at least six consecutive games in a single European campaign was back in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup, when they won seven on the bounce on the way to lifting the trophy. – The German side are responsible for four of the seven biggest aggregate victories in Champions League knockout stage history (12-1 vs Sporting Lisbon 2008-09, 10-2 vs Arsenal 2016-17, 7-0 vs Shakhtar Donetsk 2014-15 and 8-1 vs Besiktas 2017-18).- All seven of Bayern Munich’s away goals in this season’s Champions League have been scored by different players (Lewandowski, Martinez, Coman, Tolisso, Thiago, Wagner and a Gokhan Gonul own goal).- Besiktas have now lost all four of their Champions League matches against Bayern, losing by an aggregate score of 1-12. read more
Transfers Bayern contacted Pochettino, claims Hamann Goal Last updated 1 year ago 03:04 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Bayern München Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United RB Leipzig v Bayern München RB Leipzig Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United Premier League Bundesliga The Argentine’s fine work in north London has not gone unnoticed, with Die Roten joining Real Madrid among his suitors Bayern Munich have contacted Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with an eye to the Argentine succeeding Jupp Heynckes, Dietmar Hamann has claimed. Pochettino has won rave reviews for his work with Spurs, turning the London club into Premier League title challengers since taking over in 2014. That record has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid among the sides linked with the manager should he leave his current employers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp According to Hamann, however, Bayern are keen to turn to Pochettino if Heynckes decided to end his interim term at the Allianz Arena at the end of the season. “I know Bayern have been in contact with Pochettino and that he was an option – and might still be,” the former Liverpool and Germany midfielder explained to Sky.”Some say the Bayern coach should be a German, it might be one area of importance, but not the only one. “Even Pep [Guardiola] was not perfect. It is about picking the best coach possible. “For me, that man is Pochettino.” While Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy as a manager, he took Tottenham to second place in last year’s Premier League campaign to mark a second successive qualification for the Champions League. Spurs currently lie third in the league, and narrowly missed out on a berth in the Champions League quarters after losing out to Juventus in a thrilling last-16 tie.
Discipline — or lack thereof — was a constant gripe among spectators last season. The team wasn’t very good as it was, but when it was, penalties and lapses in thinking often made them look worse.So Gundy’s solution? For him, it’s simple: get back to his coaching roots. That means more discipline, more physicality, and in turn, hopefully, a better team.“I feel like we need to be a more disciplined, physical, tough football team,” said Gundy. “So I’m going to make a point as I did in the spring and hopefully it carried on this summer when the players were working out and obviously we’re not out there with them, to be a more disciplined, physical football team, and I think that will help our team. So I’m excited about just seeing the results.” 20165.342 YearAvg. penalties per gameNational Rank 20175.133 ARLINGTON, Texas — The added density on the mullet and the favorable home schedule aren’t the only reasons Mike Gundy has a pep in his step as he looks ahead to the 2019 football season.At Big 12 media days on Monday, Gundy explained he is especially rejuvenated this summer for the upcoming season because of another reason: lack of success last season.“I’m more excited and looking forward to a season than I have in a long, long time,” he said. “We didn’t play as well last year as we should have, in my opinion, and it was the result of me not doing my job and holding coaches and players accountable. We weren’t a very disciplined football team. We weren’t a very tough football team. Those are two areas that we can control the outcome.”Gundy’s teams typically rate out above the national average (sometimes well above the national average, sometimes just averug) in terms of penalties per game, but 2018 was definitely a slip far below what has been the norm in the four years before it.As you can see below, from 2015-2017, the team ranked inside the top 50 each year in penalties committed. In 2018, however, OSU committed 6.8 penalties per game, ranking 95th in the country according to TeamRankings.com. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 20106.893 20136.9105 20115.551 20146.275 20186.895 20155.538 20126.684
To start, it’s notable that J.W. Walsh had already played in three games before drawing his first start. Of that group, Sanders and Wes Lunt won their starts, as OSU throttled Savannah State 84-0 in the 2012 season opener.Sanders and Walsh were redshirt freshmen, whereas Mason Rudolph and Lunt were true freshmen. Sanders was more dynamic on his feet than those other three in his first start. His 109 rushing yards were 52 more than what Walsh had.Now here is a look at Sanders’ numbers compared to the first start numbers of the top quarterbacks of the Mike Gundy era: 2014Mason Rudolph132528122 2010Brandon Weeden223021830 2014Mason Rudolph132528122 SeasonPlayerCompletionsAttemptsYardsTouchdownsINTs 2012Wes Lunt111112900 2007Zac Robinson183719112 If a freshman quarterback is good enough to start a game at Oklahoma State, odds are that guy is pretty good at football.In the Cowboys’ 52-36 victory against Oregon State Friday night/Saturday morning in Corvallis, Spencer Sanders became the fourth freshman gunslinger to start a game at Oklahoma State is the past 10 seasons.The Beavers’ defense didn’t put up the biggest fight, but Sanders was undeniably electric. He finished his first game of college football with 312 total yards, a 79-percent completion percentage and three scores.Here are Sanders’ passing numbers compared to the other three freshmen to start games at OSU in the past 10 seasons. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 2012J.W. Walsh182730121 SeasonPlayerCompletionsAttemptsYardsTouchdownsINTs 2019Spencer Sanders192420330 Sanders numbers probably most closely correlate with Brandon Weeden’s. Interestingly enough, Weeden’s first start was also against a Pac-12 opponent in Washington State. Weeden and the Cowboys thumbed the Cougars 65-17. Rudolph and Robinson each lost their first start, with Robinson’s coming against Troy.There is obviously a lot more that goes into getting these numbers, and this early in Sanders’ career, these aren’t more than numbers on a chart. Through one game, however, Sanders put himself in elite company.Mike Gundy has had big arms and good runners leading his offense, but Sanders brings both of those. Weeden, Rudolph and Lunt sure weren’t doing this:And I don’t recall Robinson or Walsh making throws like this in their first starts: 2019Spencer Sanders192420330