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Sports stars including Joe Canning and Jackie Tyrrell have previously received the scholarship from LIT, while current lecturers include Marcus Horan (formerly of Ireland and Munster) and Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny). Limerick Institute of Technology has awarded sports scholarships to 57 athletes from all over Ireland this academic year. LIT’s Sports Scholarship Programme has doubled in size over the last three years, and provides athletic support, focuses on individual welfare, and includes off-field mentoring and education support to its recipients.Supported by sponsors PMI, AIB and the Munster Council the LIT Sports Scholarships are set apart from others as they encourage young athletes to achieve greatness in their chosen sport, while providing a vast range of off-field supports.President of LIT, Prof Vincent Cunnane, described the scholarships as “the heart of what LIT is about – recognising our own while supporting people to be the best they can be.”“It is important to understand that these young people are part of an institution which recognises them as a member of this community. That means valuing them in a balanced way. Its about what happens off the field and off the track as much as on it. It is about the whole person and putting the circumstances in place to allow them to unlock as much of their potential as possible,” he said.“In addition to financial aid, we have a number of athlete support measures built into our programme to do this. These range from off-field mentoring to education support, sports psychology, and advice on managing issues like social media.”Congratulating the scholarship recipients Prof Cunnane added, “You’re living the dream, representing your team, your college, your county, in some cases your country, excelling at what you do. Your talent, your striving is being recognised and supported. Here at LIT we think it is important to support you and to recognise your excellence.”During the scholarship presentation ceremony at Thomond Park last week, Prof Cunnane also presented LIT graduate and the college’s former Rugby Officer – World Rugby Referee of the Year 2017, Joy Neville with the LIT Outstanding Achievement Award.“Joy will always be “one of our own”, one of our LIT community, of whom we are immensely proud. The list of your achievements is hugely impressive, but it is your commitment, determination to strive to be the best you can be, breaking down barriers and becoming a role model not only for our scholarship recipients here today, but to sports’ women and men all over Ireland that makes you outstanding,” he told the International Rugby Referee.LIT’s Sports Scholarship programme is now open for applications at lit.ie/sport
Earlier in the Canada Winter Games, Nelson Boxing Club’s Brayden Hellekson won a bronze representing Team BC in the 178-pound class.Chanreet Bassi of Lake Country scored the game-winning goal to power Team BC to the bronze medal.Team Alberta won the Gold Medal with a narrow 2-1 win over Team Quebec.Hunt, who plays for the Okanagan Hockey Academy after playing her minor hockey in Nelson, finished the Games with a pair of assists in six games.Hunt will conclude the season at the OHA before heading off for a full-ride scholarship to NCAA Division I Bemidji State University in Minnesota beginning in 2019-20.Reece Hunt of Nelson (fifth from left, front row) joins her Team BC teammates for a bronze-medal, group photo inside the dressing room at the Canada Winter Games. — Submitted photo The 2019 Canada Winter Games recently wrapped up in Red Deer, but not before a second Nelson athlete stepped onto the podium to receive a medal.Reece Hunt of Nelson won a bronze medal for Team BC in women’s hockey Saturday at the Servus Downtown Arena in Red Deer as Team BC shook off a heartbreaking overtime semi-final loss to edge Team Ontario 5-4 in Medal Round play.It was the first women’s hockey medal at the Canada Games for Team BC since the province won bronze in 1991.
Alanna DiVittorio Named Southland Player and Hitter of the YearDiVittorio, a first-team all-conference selection, is the first Cowgirl to earn both player and hitter of the year honor since Heather Moreaux took both awards in 2000. DiVittorio, a native of Harahan, La., led the league in Southland play in runs scored (32), stolen bases (29), on-base percentage (.590), walks (24) was second in batting average (.459), sixth in hits (34) and 12th in slugging percentage (.595). She is the second Cowgirl to be named player of the year and third to be named hitter of the year. DiVittorio became the 12th player in Southland history to be named player and hitter of the year in the same season. No. 5 Houston Baptist (21-26, 14-13 Southland)Houston Baptist makes its first appearance in the conference tournament in the Huskies’ second year in the league. The Huskies’ offense is led by first-team all-conference senior shortstop Kirsten Schwirtlich and sister, second-team member sophomore outfielder Lauren Schwirtlich. Entering the tournament, K. Schwirtlich leads the conference with a .411 batting average, while sophomore third baseman Shay Orsak leads the conference with 22 doubles and is tied for the national lead with 0.49 doubles per game. Freshman Emily Mueller leads the pitchers with a 3.00 ERA, with nine complete games, one shutout, 45 strikeouts, and 49 walks. HBU had four members on the all-conference teams with Orsak earning third-team honors. Mike Smith Repeats as Coach of the Year Smith received coach of the year honors for the second consecutive year after leading the Cowgirls to their fourth Southland regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Smith, who is in his third year at the helm of McNeese, becomes the first coach to win back-to-back awards since former Southland member Texas State Ricci Woodard (2001, 2002). McNeese posted a 20-6 mark in conference play, marking the first time the Cowgirls reached 20 wins in league play since 2010. McNeese’s 38-15 overall record marks the sixth consecutive season the Cowgirls have reached the 30-win mark. The Cowgirls swept Lamar in the final conference series of the season to claim their second-consecutive regular-season championship and fourth overall. McNeese is the first school to win back-to-back titles since former Southland member Texas State (2008-2010). The Cowgirls will be seeking to win their first conference tournament championship since 2010. McNeese State recorded a 38-15 overall record and a 20-6 record against conference foes. The Cowgirls posted their sixth consecutive 30-win season and are making a conference-leading 25th overall tournament. The Cowgirls will play the winner of the Game One matchup between No. 4 Stephen F. Austin and No. 5 Houston Baptist, Thursday at 4 p.m. In the second game of the tournament, No. 3 Sam Houston will face No. 6 UCA, Thursday at 1:30 p.m. The Bearkats are making their 12th overall and third straight appearance in the conference tournament. The Bearkats have won two tournament titles with their last coming in 2007. Sam Houston finished the season with an overall record of 26-25 and a conference record of 15-11. UCA returns to the tournament for the third straight year after finishing the regular season with a 24-32 overall record and 13-13 in league play. The two teams did not meet during the regular season. The 2014 Southland Conference Softball Tournament plays a six-team double elimination format with a possibility of 11 games. The 11th game would be played in the event an undefeated team lost in the title game forcing a second game, upholding the double elimination format. Northwestern State, the defending conference tournament champion, finished second to earn the No. 2 seed with a 27-20 overall record and a 15-10 league mark. The Lady Demons will make their 16th appearance at the tournament and are looking to claim their fifth league title. Northwestern will look to become the first team to repeat as tournament champions since Texas State (2011, 2012). Northwestern will play the winner of Game Two between No. 3 Sam Houston State and No. 6 Central Arkansas, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The tournament opens Thursday at 11 a.m. with game one between No. 4 seed SFA and No. 5 seed HBU. SFA is making its seventh appearance at the conference tournament and first since 2010. The Ladyjacks posted a 24-25 overall record and a 14-11 record in the Southland. SFA won six out of its last seven games to close out the regular season. HBU is making its first trip to the conference tournament after winning their conference series finale against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Huskies finished the regular season with a 21-26 overall record and a 14-13 record in conference play. During the regular season, the Huskies took two of three from the Ladyjacks in Houston, Texas, March 29-30. No. 4 Stephen F. Austin (24-25, 14-11 Southland)Stephen F. Austin closed the regular season 5-1 in league play to finish in fourth place and make conference tournament for the first time since 2010. Senior pitcher Carlie Thomas has been one of the top hurlers in the conference with a 16-13 record overall and six complete game shutouts. She threw four shutouts in conference play to rank among the leaders in the league. First baseman Shalie Day is among the top run producers in the Southland, driving in 22 RBI in league games. The Ladyjacks have a balanced offense with three different players driving in 30 or more RBI on the year. The Ladyjacks placed three members on the all-conference teams with Day and Thomas earning first-and-second team honors, respectively. Fifteen Players Return as All-Conference SelectionsFifteen players made a return appearance to the all-conference teams led by DiVittorio and junior teammate Ashley Modzelewski, who are both making their third consecutive appearance. Thirteen additional players are making their second all-conference appearance led by McNeese sophomores Allred and Emily Vincent, Northwestern State seniors Brianna Rodriguez, Tara McKenney and Kaylee Guidry and juniors Brittany Virgoe and Cassandra Barefield, Houston Baptist sophomore Kirsten Schwirtlich and senior Lauren Schwirtlich, Central Arkansas sophomore Sarah Bigej, Southeastern Louisiana sophomore Katie Lacour, Sam Houston State sophomore Tiffany Castillo and Nicholls sophomore Danielle Phillips. NCAA Softball Selection Show on ESPNUThe winner of the 2014 tournament receives an automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show airs Sunday, May 11 at 9 p.m. CDT on ESPNU. No. 2 Northwestern State (27-20, 15-10 Southland)Northwestern State secured the No. 2 for the second-consecutive year and will make its 16th overall conference tournament. The Lady Demons are the reigning tournament champions and have won four league series in a row, including a sweep of Southeastern Louisiana in the regular-season finale. The Lady Demons hold a tournament winnings percentage of .635 (40-23), which is the best percentage among current league members. Northwestern had seven all-conference selections, including first-team member Brittany Virgoe at third base. Senior outfielder Tara McKenney and freshman outfielder Kellye Kincannon lead the Lady Demons from the plate with .371 and .369 batting averages, respectively. McKenney has dished out a team-high 59 hits, and Kincannon has picked up 38 RBI off 41 hits, including 12 homers, to make an early mark in her young career. From the circle, senior Kaylee Guidry (10-3) boasts a 2.94 ERA after allowing 38 runs, 35 of them earned, in 83.1 innings. Taylor Terrio Garners Top Freshman AwardTaylor Terrio was tabbed as the league’s top freshman as she also earned first-team all-conference honors. Terrio becomes the first Colonel to win freshman of the year honors. In conference play, the freshman from Paulina, La., led the league with a .463 batting average and was tied for first in hits with 37. She ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.494), eighth in total bases (48) and 11th in slugging percentage (.600). On the season, she was tied for first in hits with 65 and finished fifth with a .389 batting average. 2014 Southland Conference Softball Tournament Release (PDF)FRISCO, Texas – McNeese State earned the top seed in the 2014 Southland Conference Softball Tournament that will get underway Thursday, May 8, at North Oak Park on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La. No. 3 Sam Houston State (26-25, 15-11 Southland)Sam Houston State returns to the Southland tournament for the third consecutive year and for the 12th time overall. The Bearkats have a 30-18 overall record in the conference tournament and have made it all the way to the championship game the past two seasons. Sam Houston has won two tournament titles (1988, 2007), and have appeared in the title game five times. The Castillo sisters, Cecilia and Tiffany, from Port Lavaca Calhoun, give the Bearkats a one-two punch. Cecilia, the Bearkats senior right fielder, sports a .346 batting average while younger sister. Tiffany, a sophomore catcher, hits .294. The pair rank first and third in hitting for Sam Houston. Sam Houston placed four players on the all-conference teams, including three third-team members. Tiffany garnered second-team honors while junior shortstop Tayler Gray and pitcher Shelby Lancaster earned third-team honors. The Southland Digital Network is available at Southland.org/watch, as well as the official SLC mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. ESPN3 programming can be found on WatchESPN.com, plus the WatchESPN app for iPhone, iPad, Android and XBOX Live systems. TOURNAMENT TEAM NOTESNo. 1 McNeese State (38-15, 20-6 Southland)McNeese will be making its 10th consecutive tournament appearance and its league-best 25th tournament berth. The Cowgirls also enter the tournament as back-to-back regular season champions and the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Last season the Cowgirls were eliminated from the tournament after losing two straight games. The Cowgirls have a 3-2 record in the title game with their most recent title coming in 2010. McNeese State had a conference-best seven players selected to the all-conference teams, including three first-team members. Southland Player and Hitter of the Year Alanna DiVittorio earned first-team in the outfield while sophomore Jamie Allred was tabbed Southland Pitcher of the Year. Junior catcher Ashley Modzelewski is a three-time all-conference honoree. DiVittorio leads the team with a .397 batting average, a .570 slugging percent, 45 walks and 44 stolen bases. She also has 60 hits and 23 RBI. In the circle, Allred has a league-high 25 wins and enters the tournament with a 25-7 overall record with a 1.50 ERA along with 195 strikeouts. Allred is 8-2 in her last 10 games and six of her last eight wins have been shutouts. Kylee Studioso Named Newcomer of the YearKylee Studioso, a first-team all-conference selection, played a major role in ensuring that Central Arkansas would make the conference tournament for the third consecutive year. Studioso joins Holli Hill, who won newcomer of the year in 2010, as the second player in UCA history to ever win the award. The junior from Edmond, Wash., led the Southland in league play with 131 strikeouts in 94.2 innings. She posted an 11-4 record in 17 games while registering four shutouts and holding conference opponents to a .207 batting average. On the season, she led the league in strikeouts (212), appearances (38) and finished second in wins with 16. Southland Tournament Streamed Live with Championship Game on ESPN3The 2014 Southland Softball Tournament, with the exception of the championship game, will be streamed live for free on the Southland Conference Digital Network, including Southland.org/watch and the league’s mobile/tablet apps, available at: Southland.org/apps. The championship game of the tournament will be carried exclusively on ESPN3, Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m. Chris Mycoskie, assistant commissioner of television and electronic media for the Southland Conference, will handle play-by play for all games, while three-time Southland softball coach of the year Yvette Girouard will be the color analyst and former Lady Lion Kati Morse, will join him for the championship as the dugout reporter. Jamie Allred Named Southland Pitcher of the YearAllred became the first McNeese State player to be tabbed conference pitcher of the year since Angela Harrison in 1994. The sophomore ace from Hallsville, Texas, was named conference pitcher of the week five times during the regular season. In conference play, Allred led the league in shutouts with seven and was second in strikeouts with 121, including 37 batters looking. She pitched 112.1 innings in conference while holding opponents to a league-leading .170 batting average. Allred made 17 starts and picked up 15 wins while registering a 1.00 earned run average. On the season, Allred was 25-7 with three of her wins coming against nationally ranked teams (No. 7 Alabama, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 21 Alabama-Birmingham). She led the conference with a 1.50 ERA, 204.2 innings pitched and was second in strikeouts (195). No. 6 Central Arkansas (24-32, 13-13 Southland)Central Arkansas will be making their third conference tournament appearance. Offensively, the Bears are led by third baseman Sam Forrest and catcher Jessie Taylor. Forrest hit .348 with 18 doubles and eight homeruns while driving in 42 runs, and Taylor led Central Arkansas with 10 homeruns and a UCA single-season record 49 RBI. In the circle, Southland Newcomer of the Year Kylee Studioso finished the regular season with a 16-11 record and 3.25 ERA. The junior held opponents to a .248 average while striking out 212 batters in 161.2 innings, a number which led the Southland Conference. Central Arkansas placed four Bears on the all-conference team including sophomore Sarah Bigej who garnered first-team honors and Forrest who notched a spot on the second-team at third base. Tickets on Sale NowAdult all-tournament tickets are available for $20 and $15 for youth. Tickets will also be available for each day of the tournament. A single-day pass is $10 and $8 for youth. To purchase tickets, contact the Southeastern Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at 985-549-5466 or visit the university’s athletic tickets website at www.LionSports.net.
In the men’s game, Sam Houston State enters the contest with a 24-6 overall mark and a 15-2 conference record while Stephen F. Austin is 26-4 overall and 16-1 in league play. The Bearkats will be looking to claim of share of the regular-season while the Lumberjacks will hope to win the crown outright. This will be the second meeting between the two schools with the Lumberjacks earning a 79-68 win in Huntsville, Texas, Jan. 24. FRISCO, Texas – Saturday’s Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin basketball games will be featured live on ESPN3 from William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches, Texas. The women’s game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. CST, followed by the men’s matchup at 6:30 p.m. CST. Stephen F. Austin enters the game riding a 10-game winning streak with its last loss coming against Sam Houston. SFA is undefeated on its home court during conference play and has only one home loss during non-conference. The team leads all Southland schools with a 43.6 shooting percentage from field goal range, 5.2 blocks per contest and 15.5 assists per game throughout league play. Senior center Porsha Roberts is leading the team with 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game throughout league action. Roberts ranks second in the NCAA in field goal percentage shooting 63.3 percent from the floor. Tierany Henderson is also making an impact for the Ladyjacks with 11.3 points and 6.5 boards per conference contest. Sam Houston is the league’s top defensive team, surrendering only 58.2 points per game while its offense puts up an impressive 74.7 points per game. The Bearkats’ +16.5 point scoring margin is tops in the league. The Bearkats, who are in search of their first Southland regular-season title since 2010, are led by an experience group of seniors, who have led the Bearkats to 78 victories during their time in Huntsville. DeMarcus Gatlin, Michael Holyfield, Marquel McKinney, Jabari Peters and Kaheem Ransom have combined to score 3,324 points for the Bearkats in the past four seasons. This season, Gatlin leads the Bearkats with 11.0 points per game followed by Ransom (10.2) and Peters (9.5). Holyfield averages 8.4 points per contest while McKinney is scoring 2.0 points per game. In the first meeting with SFA, Gatlin led the Sam Houston offensive attack with 15 points. Sam Houston State has lost its last seven games and is looking to break the trend with hopes of edging into the top eight for a spot in the conference tournament. The Bearkats feature junior guard Shernise Robertson who is the Southland’s leading scorer with 21.9 per contest throughout the season. The Cypress, Texas, native is shooting 84.6 percent from the free-throw line with 170 made shots on 201 attempts. Sophomore guard Taylor Dorsey is another key player for Sam Houston with 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. In the women’s contest, Stephen F. Austin enters the final game of the regular season 22-6 overall and 15-2 in conference play while Sam Houston State is 6-21 overall and 5-12 in league action. The Ladyjacks sit at the top of the standings as Sam Houston is fighting for a spot in the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Katy, Texas, March 12-15. The two teams battled on Jan. 24 with the Bearkats taking a one-point victory, 65-64, in Huntsville, Texas. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. SFA is looking to claim its third consecutive outright regular-season title with a win over Sam Houston. The Lumberjacks currently hold the second-best scoring defense in the conference, giving up only 64.2 points per game, while their offense is third in the league with 79.5 points per game. The Lumberjacks are led by junior Thomas Walkup, who ranks seventh in the league in scoring (15.4), eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8), 10th in rebounding (6.3) and 11th in assists (3.5). Also leading the charge for SFA senior Jacob Parker, the reigning conference player of the year. Parker averages 14.7 points per game and leads the conference with a 47.7 shooting percentage from behind the arc. In the win against Sam Houston earlier in the year, SFA had four players in double figures with Walkup leading the way with 17 points followed by Ty Charles (16), Clude Geddrard (15) and Parker (13). Lincoln Rose will handle play-by-play duties. He will be joined courtside by color analyst Van Chancellor, a 2007 inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Chris Mycoskie is set to host the MidSouth Bank Halftime Report during both games. The network is currently available to more than 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans that receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks. This is the last of eight regular season Southland Conference doubleheaders on ESPN3. Coverage of the league’s tournaments begins next week, with men’s and women’s first and second round games on the Southland Digital Network, available via Southland.org/watch and the Southland Conference app. ESPN3 takes over for the men’s and women’s semifinals. The men’s championship will be available on ESPN2 Saturday, followed by the women’s championship on CBS Sports Network Sunday.
José Mourinho Matic was an island of personality – Mourinho questions United mentality Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 06:49 18/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) José Mourinho Manchester United Romelu Lukaku Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion Videos Despite seeing Manchester United progress into the semi-finals of the FA Cup by beating Brighton, the manager was annoyed by his side Jose Mourinho singled out Nemanja Matic as an “island of personality” as he criticised the mentality of his Manchester United players despite booking a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.Romelu Lukaku and Matic converted United’s only two efforts on target in a 2-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday to set up a trip to Wembley.Mourinho had told his players to “grow up” following Tuesday’s surprise defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League and the Portuguese left Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez as unused substitutes against Brighton. 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 Luke Shaw was hauled off at half-time despite playing a role in Lukaku’s opener, with Mourinho unimpressed with United’s performance in a dour display against the Seagulls.”I didn’t like the game,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “I think we deserved to win because I think the game was in control for the majority, we scored two and they didn’t score, so we clearly deserved it but we didn’t play the way I want.”I had a reaction from some. Some players were mentally strong enough with football quality and that was the reason we won, but a team of 11 must have six or seven performing and wanting responsibility to play. I’m not happy with the performance, I’m happy with the result.”When I spend two days with faster build-up and ball arriving earlier between lines and in attacking areas it depends on decisions in possession and movement in attack, I spend two days working on it but attacking players don’t want the ball, defenders taking square passes, I have to feel frustrated.”The biggest frustration is not a bad result because this can happen, it’s when I work on the [training] pitch and don’t see the situations on the pitch.”Many, many times Matic was an island of personality and desire and control, surrounded by a lack of personality, class and desire.”[Scott] McTominay lost more passes than in all his games altogether but he was a Manchester United player, he gives to the team.”It was a question of mentality. The perfect Manchester United player has quality and personality and is consistent. When you play bad you must have personality.”#MUFC in the @EmiratesFACup this season:Played Scored Conceded Bring on the semi-finals pic.twitter.com/Ryci0MgS6e— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 17, 2018Although Mourinho did not single out individuals for criticism, Shaw’s withdrawal for Ashley Young at half-time was a sign the United manager remains doubtful over the left-back’s qualities.”It was a decision, one player for another in the same position,” Mourinho said. “I wanted to defend better, I want my defensive line to be more solid in response to some situations and I want more personality in the team.”
While summer seems to just be getting started, the college football season is quickly approaching. If you consider the day after OSU’s bowl victory over Missouri the start of the offseason and its season opener the end, we are nearly 80 percent through our drought of college football.So with less than two months to go before that Friday night kickoff in Corvallis, Oregon, let’s look at the Cowboys’ Week 1 matchup with the other OSU and what storylines will rule that weekend.First, the particulars.When: Friday, August 30 at 9:30 p.m. CentralWhere: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OregonWatch: FS1Line: Oklahoma State -16.5The Pokes and the Beavers will be the featured late night draw for night two of the opening weekend of college football. It will be the only Power 5-on-P5 matchup on either Thursday or Friday and, despite the late kick, all eyes will be on the Cowboys looking to rebound from an uncharacteristic single-digit win season.On the other hand, Oregon State, under first-year head coach Jonthan Smith, went 2-10 and 1-8 in the Pac-12 last season. The Beavers have totaled just nine wins over the last four seasons and haven’t gone bowling since 2013.1. Biggest Question (It’s the Obvious One): Who Takes Snaps at QB?The answer to this question will likely be answered publicly before the Cowboys head to Corvallis, but we’ll get our first chance to judge the coaches’ decision on that Friday nightcap.Spencer Sanders, the assumed (or at least wished upon) savior of the program, or Dru Brown, the seasoned vet with two year’s worth of experience at the DI level?We’ve looked at this race from every angle we can thing of — and will have come up with a dozen more by the end of August — but this is a huge year for Mike Gundy and OSU. Normally they go as their QB does.This will be a huge game because, if nothing else, we’ll get our first look at the Cowboys offense and how Sean Gleeson and his QB can mesh and lead it.2. Who Else Will be Taking Snaps?The other OSU is also looking at a fall camp QB competition. Jake Luton was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing chunks of both the 2017 and 2018 seasons due to injury. The 6-7 passer came was granted a medical hardship waiver and has his eye set on retaining QB1 duties. But he’ll have to fend off sophomore Tristan Gebbia, the former four-star Cali QB who transferred to Oregon State from Nebraska.3. A Deep Receiving CorpsYes, the [insert year] Cowboys return a deep and talented pool of receivers ready to put up boocoos of yards. But I’m, again, talking about the other OSU.Oregon State returns 11 of 12 receivers from a year ago including tight ends. The group is headlined by junior Isaiah Hodgins and senior Trevon Bradford. The 6-4 Hodgins led the Beavers with 876 yards, 59 catches and five scores in his breakout sophomore season, and the dynamic Bradford chipped in 649 on 56 catches with six TDs of his own.4. What Kind of Test Will OSU Provide?We were quick to bemoan Oklahoma State’s 2018 defense — and mostly with good reason — for several head-scratching losses. But the other OSU has been a leaky sieve as of late.In 2017, Oregon State’s defense ranked fourth-worst over the previous 14 seasons in S&P+ rating among Power conference teams. But last year’s Beaver D regressed even further, logging the worst S&P+ rating from any major conference since 2004. Last year’s Beavers defense ranked ahead of only the 1-11 UConn Huskies in both scoring defense (45.7 points per game) and total defense allowed (536.8 yards per game).That means that whoever starts at quarterback for OSU will get his debut against the returning worst Power 5 defense over the last 15 years. So if Spencer Sanders slings it for 500 yards and combines for six TDs, we will all need to do our best, however futile it may be, to temper expectations moving forward. 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.
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
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. Topping the list of star recruits expected to make a visit to Stillwater this weekend in football is top-60 national recruit Daniyel Ngata, a four-star running back prospect from California.Ngata subtly announced his trip via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon in a reply to OSU quarterback pledge Shane Illingworth, who also announced he’s making the trip from California to Stillwater.I’m there with you🤝 https://t.co/snucWBu5sZ— Daniyel Ngata (@dngata2) September 25, 2019 Ngata is rated as the No. 55 overall prospect in the 2020 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite and the No. 2 running back in the class. Listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, he’s got the Barry Sanders hop step down pat and some serious burners to boot. While that isn’t typically the size of an every down Big 12 back, he plays physically bigger than his measurements and has just about every tool in the bag: the speed, the pass-catching and the shiftiness.So…Daniyel Ngata (@dngata2) of Folsom is legit. Video proof in case you didn’t know pic.twitter.com/IgBlT5htfT— Sacramento MaxPreps (@SacMaxPreps) September 17, 2018Oklahoma State has been after Ngata since an offer came his way earlier this spring, and the staff has been heavy in pursuit since. The Cowboys are in his top five, which he announced this summer. It also includes Texas A&M, Clemson, Utah and Arizona State.Ngata is the highest-rated running back recruit OSU is still in the mix for in the 2020 cycle. The staff is also recruiting Owasso product Isaiah Jacobs, the younger brother of former Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, as well as junior college prospect La’damian Webb.
I got this excellent email from a reader this week and thought I would share his thoughts (and mine!) with everyone.I’m going to wait until after the bye week to really consider #Chuba4Heisman but right now I’m just concerned that we don’t throw him the ball. Sure, we basically don’t throw the ball to anyone not named Wallace either, but shouldn’t we be seeing some screens, swings, and wheels?Looking at old Princeton box scores I see some of the same trends, the same two pass-catchers caught 55 percent or more of all completed passes in 2017 and 2018, and the RBs were essentially uninvolved. Justice and Chuba combined to catch just over 12 percent of completed passes in 2017 and 2018. RBs so far this year have caught just 4.5 percent (a grand total of four btw) of completed passes, and all of those RBs are Chuba.I would like to think we learned from not using Tyreek enough in 2014 to at least ask the question: Why isn’t Chuba involved more in the passing game and how can we get him there? Is it more that he’s there and open, but Wallace or Stoner are more open? Thanks for all y’all do on the site. -Daniel R.This is a great question and something I’ve noticed as well! I don’t know the specific scheming reasons here, but I do think the broader reason is mostly a function of Spencer Sanders’ inexperience.I would guess the majority of those 12 percent of catches from Justice and Chuba in 2017 and 2018 were on check-downs where the play broke further down the field. Maybe a handful of them were called screens or inside passes or whatever.Regardless, Sanders doesn’t check down very well for a couple of reasons. The first is that the game looks like it’s 2x speed for him right now. The second is because he doesn’t need to. That is, when plays break down for him, he’s more likely to take off than Rudolph or Cornelius (this is like saying Gundy is more likely to use a comb than Boynton, I guess, but you get the point).Now whether he should be taking off instead of checking down is a different story. Chuba in space is terrifying on all of the levels, and sometimes checking down provides the most space.I’m with you, too, I think OSU should spread him out more instead of running him between the tackles over and over again. As an aside: Remember when we weren’t positive he even could run between the tackles? 😂OR you could even line Chuba out wide like the Chiefs do with Tyreek and have him run wild on the edge out there.The more Chuba is spread out the harder it is for a defense to figure out where he’s going to end up, and thus the more scary he is as a weapon in Oklahoma State’s offense. If it’s even possible for someone who just put up 296 on 25 carries against a real defense to be more scary.Also, I asked our Xs & Os guy, Dustin Ragusa, and here’s what he said.A lot of the passing plays have involved play action, as well as play-action roll outs, and RPOs. The running back isn’t normally involved as a pass option on those.Also, as we’ve seen, Spencer would prefer to give Wallace a chance, even when he’s covered, as opposed to dumping it down. So, basically, all the receivers besides Tylan aren’t getting many targets, meaning Chuba isn’t either. As we saw last week where McCray got zero.And the running back isn’t a pass option in play action and RPOs normally because the fake is going to him, especially in an RPO since the line is blocking run, Spencer has to throw to the pass read quickly (or there will be an ineligible man downfield) so the running back is never the throw there. 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.