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#1 Posted by Dogcat250 8 months 2 weeks ago
Dogcat250
1550 Forum posts
If you like underdogs and great stories, you’re going to like this year’s Orange Bowl. And if you don’t like those things, you’re probably an Alabama fan? Everybody, save for maybe Ole Miss alumni, was a fan of Mississippi State and their incredible run this season. The Bulldogs jumped to national relevance with an upset win over then No. 8 LSU to open their conference play. They followed that up with wins over then No. 6 Texas A&M and then No. 3 Auburn and all of a sudden Mississippi State was getting College Football Playoff mentions. Beating three Top 10 teams in a row can rush an unranked team up the charts in a hurry, especially when those wins are in-conference SEC victories. The Bulldogs’ run as No. 1 in the nation ended in mid-November with a five-point loss to Alabama. But there are a lot worse things to do in college football than fall to the Crimson Tide by less than a score and their College Football Playoff hopes didn’t end until rival Ole Miss downed them on the final week of the regular season. Quarterback Dak Prescott led Mississippi State’s run to relevance and more as a classic dual threat college QB. While Prescott’s Heisman candidacy couldn’t make it the whole year, he was on many a pundit’s “Watch” throughout the season. The junior had only middling passing numbers – 2,996 yards and 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions – but had opposing defences running scared with his 939 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. That said, the more defences forced Prescott to pass, the farther down Heisman Watches he fell, something Georgia Tech likely has noted heading into the New Year’s Eve battle. Speaking of Georgia Tech, they had a pretty memorable out-of-nowhere season too, just with none of the hype or national fanfare. The Yellow Jackets’ solid season was interrupted by back-to-back losses to basketball powerhouses Duke and North Carolina, but the team managed to rebound and finish strong enough to earn a top-tier bowl bid. Wins over ranked opponents Clemson, in a rout, and Georgia, in a significant one, had fans and experts alike thinking the Yellow Jackets could steal the ACC from Florida State. That didn’t happen, with the Seminoles squeaking out a two-point win, but Georgia Tech was never going to make the College Football Playoff, so this Orange Bowl bid was as good as they could have hoped for. Tech’s an interesting team in that they have one of the nation’s top offences based almost solely on the run. Outside of Wisconsin, maybe no team puts as much an emphasis on the ground game as GT. Using a combination of quarterback Justin Thomas, who led the team with 965 rushing yards, and running backs Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days, who combined to add 1,541 more, the Yellow Jackets finished third in the NCAA in rushing, averaging 333 yards per game. This one should be heavy on offence, but in a game featuring the fifth (Thomas) and sixth (Prescott) best running quarterbacks, the edge on defence should go to the Bulldogs. Neither Mississippi State or Georgia Tech had defences to write home about this season, but the Bulldogs did rank decently against the run. If they can take away GT’s ground game in any significant way, they’ll put the game in the hands (literally) of a QB who averaged 13 pass attempts per game (of course the Bulldogs also boast the fourth worst pass defence in the nation, so it could be pick your poison.) They’ve each had great stories this season, but only one can finish on a high note. The Bulldogs enter the game as seven-point favourites and after knocking off a number of SEC powerhouses, should be able to do the same to an ACC (sorta)powerhouse. It could be the start of another good run for Mississippi State. With bleak pro prospects, Prescott should return for his senior season and head coach Dan Mullen should have a lot more luck on the recruiting trail this off-season. Eye on Sunday LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State If Prescott declares, a lot of pre-draft talk will be about the quarterback and where he fits into the draft, if at all. Scouts will make the trip to the Mississippi State pro day where they would do well to focus more attention on McKinney. McKinney may be the best inside linebacker in the draft and has a real shot at getting selected in the first round. QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State Prescott’s game is suited much better to college than the pros. He was exposed down the stretch when opponents took away the run and forced him to air it out. That won’t change the fact that if the junior declares there will be tons of discussion about which round he should be selected, if he’s selected at all. Prescott has gotten some early mid-round draft grades but will likely be a late-rounder at best and would be wise to return to school for another season. SS Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech A look at several draft boards around the Internet doesn’t produce many Georgia Tech products. The one name that came up is Johnson, who projects as a late-rounder early in the evaluation process. Fred Warner Jersey . While he was away, it was the division-rival Baltimore Orioles conducting a little business of their own, scooping up Ubaldo Jimenez on Monday evening to a reported four-year, $50-million contract. Trent Taylor Jersey . Called on from the college ranks to replace Andy Reid, Kelly implemented a whole new atmosphere in the City of Brotherly Love and now has the Eagles in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. http://www.officialsanfrancisco49ersfootball.com/authentic-k_waun-williams-jersey-womens . The teams were scoreless for most of the first two periods before Canada scored three times in a span of less than four minutes. Sarah Potomak opened the scoring on the power play. Aaron Burbridge Jersey . The Canadian defensive tackle suffered the injury on Monday and had tests done on Tuesday. He was a potential starter on the defensive line but head coach Mike OShea said he wasnt even thinking about the ratio when he got the news. Cassius Marsh Jersey . Which is to say, the top of this years draft class is not as dynamic or exciting as the 2013 class of Nate MacKinnon, Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones and its not as strikingly promising as the highly-anticipated 2015 slate of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to win two straight games for the first time since mid-January on Monday night as they play host to the struggling New York Islanders. The Canucks are coming off just their second victory in 13 games, having bested the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday. That improved Vancouver to just 2-10-1 since Jan. 26. Eddie Lack settled down to finish with 22 saves after giving up the first goal of the game early in the second period on a slap shot from center ice taken by Calgarys Brian McGrattan. Darren Archibald tied the game with his first career NHL goal and defenseman Yannick Weber had the game-winner five minutes into the third period. With the win, Vancouver snapped a four-game slide and sits four points back of the Dallas Stars for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. It was a grind for both teams," said Canucks head coach John Tortorella. "Were just looking for points." Canucks winger Zack Kassian began serving a three-game suspension on Saturday that was handed down for an illegal check in Thursdays loss in Dallas. The Islanders wrap up a four-game swing through Western Canada tonight and are 1-1-1 on the treek.ddddddddddddThe regulation loss came last time out on Friday, a 4-3 setback to the Flames in which New York failed to hold a two-goal lead in the third period. Colin McDonald, Kyle Okposo and Brock Nelson lit the lamp for the Islanders, who have lost six of their past eight overall. Anders Nilsson made only 19 stops in the loss. "Its mental at this point," said Okposo, who had a shot ring off the post during a 5-on-3 power play early in the third period. "We give up one then we sit back and let them back in the game. We have to say enoughs enough." While Lack is likely to face the Islanders for the first time in his career tonight, it is unknown who will get the call for New York. Nilsson has never faced Vancouver, while Evgeni Nabokov is 14-7-3 with a 2.40 goals against average versus the Canucks. Nabokov made 28 saves in a 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Canucks back on Oct. 22 in the first of two meetings this season. Nelson scored his first NHL goal in the setback, New Yorks third in a row to Vancouver. Brad Richardson had the game-winner for the Canucks, who have won four of five and eight of the past 10 encounters at home in this series. 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