Sun Devil offense presents challenge for USC

first_imgThe Trojans went about their normal Wednesday practice routine ahead of their first game against a Pac-12 South rival. The team will look to remain unbeaten at home when it faces the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday.Hayes of glory · Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard and the Trojans are ready to put last year’s blowout loss to Arizona State behind them. Pullard is tied for second on the team with 26 total tackles so far this season. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanDefense FirstThe Trojans struggled against Boston College’s dynamic offense three weeks ago, a similar attack to that of the Sun Devils. That being said, a lot of attention was focused on the defense at practice on Wednesday and how it would deal with the Sun Devils’ potential explosiveness.The main difference in USC’s defensive strategy is the official change of sophomore Su’a Cravens from safety to linebacker. While it gives the Trojans a new look on that side of the ball, it seems to suit their needs on the field.“The plan wasn’t to change my position; it was more just to fit where they needed me,” Cravens said. “I like being close to the ball. I like to make plays.”Freshman defensive back Adoree’ Jackson did not seem worried about Arizona State’s offensive weapons and said he is looking forward to the challenge that the Sun Devils’ multi-scheme spread offense poses for the USC defense.“This will be the biggest game because it’s our next game,” Jackson said. “I’m excited because it throws everything at us and gets to show off our versatility as a defense.”Head coach Steve Sarkisian also stressed the importance of defense after the practice. He liked the focus and mindset of the team heading into this crucial game, but he gave a vote of confidence to his defensive players.“To be plus-seven for us in the turnover margin is huge and will continue to be huge to our success,” Sarkisian said. “We have to trust our techniques, trust our fundamentals and at the moment of truth, we have to make the plays.”No RepeatThe last time the Trojans faced the Sun Devils, they endured a rough defeat that eventually turned their season around. USC is not looking to meet a similar fate with its game this weekend, and some players are even using last season as motivation to get the victory.“We have to make sure we’re prepared so it doesn’t happen again,” junior defensive end Leonard Williams said. “It’s going to be like a revenge game.”Williams went on to describe how much the team has evolved since the tough loss last year.“We’ve grown a lot,” he said. “When you have that trust grown on a team, it’s easier to play for each other.”Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard agreed that the game is going to be tough but said that he does not think about last year’s matchup because USC is a totally new team.“We always bring our lunch pail for the Pac-12 game,” Pullard said. “We’re competing for the championship every single day.”Even though Sarkisian was not on the coaching staff last season, he noted last year’s defeat and hopes that it motivates his players to be better this time around.“Hopefully it factors into our pride,” Sarkisian said. “It affects our preparation in the fact that it shouldn’t happen again.”Injury UpdateMost of practice had a positive vibe and an encouraging outlook for the rest of the week; however, there was one negative that emerged from the field on Wednesday.Freshman wide receiver Ajene Harris suffered a strained hamstring that pulled him out of practice for the rest of the day. Coaches said they were unsure of the severity of the injury but were hopeful that he would be able to make a quick recovery and return to the field.Without Harris, the Trojans now turn to redshirt freshman wide receiver Steven Mitchell, who gained more practice reps after the unfortunate injury to his teammate.“When [Mitchell]’s at full speed, he’s a dynamic athlete,” Sarkisian said.The first-year coach also said other players will have to step up to fill the void as well, but mentioned junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor’s flexibility to move around on offense as a main reason he is not too concerned.“We always have the flexibility of moving Nelson [Agholor] around,” Sarkisian said. “[Mitchell] is really good, its just about developing confidence in him.” .last_img read more

Saturday reignites UW’s best rivalry

first_imgConsider it a symptom of Impending Graduationitis or whatever you want, but a stark reality faces University of Wisconsin seniors this weekend.With the men’s hockey team stuck in ninth place in the WCHA, the responsibility for those truly spectacular, intoxicating moments that power the Kohl Center falls to the hardwood. Men’s basketball, as you many know, hosts the Buckeyes from The Ohio State University, and that’s a team that isn’t really liked around here – or anywhere else outside of Columbus, Ohio, for that matter.The last time the Buckeyes invaded the Kohl Center was Feb. 12, four months after John Clay and the Wisconsin Football Badgers ran Ohio State out of Camp Randall Stadium in a 31-18 victory. OSU was the country’s No. 1 team entering that weekend, and they were a perfect 6-0 before thousands of Badger faithful Jumped Around on them.More relevant, of course, is what transpired in the Kohl Center that February afternoon. Ohio State, again, was the nation’s top team. Again, they were also undefeated. This time, it was much farther into the season, and the Buckeyes had collected 24 straight wins.You remember what happened over the course of that game. A tight first half ended with a 2-point Ohio State lead. Then, Jordan Taylor and 21 second-half points happened. Then, despite trailing by as many as 15 points, despite battling a Buckeye squad shooting above 50 percent from the field, the Badgers won.Then, the floodgates opened for the student section, and Taylor, Jon Leuer and a whole bunch of Badgers were hoisted up off the ground and into Wisconsin lore.“It’s something that you’ll probably just remember forever,” Taylor said Thursday afternoon.He added to that by detailing the pleasantry of defeating the No. 1 team on your home court – and then stated that it has “zero impact” on this weekend’s game.Of course, the Buckeyes got a second chance with the Badgers last season on their home court. They made the most of it in a 93-65 trouncing of Wisconsin, a picking apart proverbial bone by proverbial bone. Jon Diebler rained fire from the skies, sinking seven of his eight 3-point attempts, while Ohio State collectively shot 68 percent from the floor and 93 percent from behind the arc.Taylor, as he’d be the first to recall, scored just eight points on 2-for-9 shooting in a full 40 minutes of playing time.That’s a very large reason why last year is meaningless now, but it’s not the largest.Simply put, a Wisconsin victory this weekend could propel the Badgers into first place in the Big Ten, just three weeks after a three-game losing streak brought doom and gloom clouds so thick that you’d think Bo Ryan’s pixie dust – the stock reserved for pulling his team into the NCAA tournament year in and year out – had been spoiled.But for sentiment’s sake, let’s expound on the rivalry talk. No matter how much Minnesota is perceived to be on the “upswing,” how long will it take until we see anything close to what Wisconsin-Ohio State has brought us? Minnesota hasn’t touched Paul Bunyan’s Axe since 2003, and in the past two years they’ve been outscored by a combined 47 points.Where else should we look? Iowa, a football rivalry at most, now lies opposite Wisconsin in the Big Ten’s Legends Division. So does Michigan, the second-most obnoxious team in the Big Ten, as well as newcomer Nebraska. In the Badgers’ Leaders Division, Penn State remains an awfully enormous question mark, while Purdue, Illinois and Indiana really pose zero semblance of anything close to a legitimate rival.That leaves Ohio State and Michigan State, and boy, those Spartans come pretty close. After all, they supplied the first Hail Mary Heartbreaker Wisconsin fans suffered this season, back in Spartan Stadium Oct. 22. The Badgers ultimately reaped sweet revenge in the Big Ten Championship Game in an absolute thriller that once again denied those bitter Spartans a BCS bowl berth, and you can bet this upcoming season’s matchup (an eerily timed Oct. 27) will be certified must-watch material.But who really makes your blood boil? Yes, Michigan State games seem to be developing a penchant for delivering truly remarkable drama and all-time classic moments, but who do you like beating the most? The Spartans have that indisputably vile bluster, but make no mistake – they’re second-fiddle rivals to the Buckeyes.Whether you’re a senior scratching off your last days in Madison on your bedroom wall or an underclassmen who’s still been unbelievably spoiled (in a truly fantastic way) by Wisconsin athletics these past two or three seasons, savor this Ohio State game this weekend.The players won’t say as much, but knowing what happened last year and even more so what can happen this year with sustained success, they sure will be as well.Mike is a senior majoring in journalism. Are you planning on packing the Kohl Center this weekend? Let him know on Twitter @mikefiammetta.last_img read more

Panthers to retire Roberto Luongo’s No. 1 jersey

first_imgLuongo’s No. 1 jersey is scheduled to be sent to the BB&T Center rafters March 7 before the Panthers host the Canadiens.Luongo will become the first #FlaPanthers player in franchise history to have his jersey number retired on March 7, 2020.»— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) August 12, 2019″Roberto is a cornerstone of Panthers history and an icon of the game,” Panthers owner Vincent J. Viola said in a release. Related News “He has represented himself and the Panthers with tremendous dignity, determination and a standard of excellence throughout his career. Roberto exemplifies what it means to be a Florida Panther. His level of commitment to this franchise, his teammates, his family and the South Florida community is second to none. There is no player more deserving to be the first Florida Panther to have his jersey number retired.”Luongo, 40, retired in June after 19 seasons in the NHL that also included stints with the Canucks and Islanders, citing the hip surgery he had a couple of years ago as a major reason he decided to call it a career. He finished last season with an 18-16-5 record, 3.12 goals against average, and .899 save percentage.In 1,044 NHL games played, the three-time All-Star posted a career 2.61 goals against average and .919 save percentage. NHL free agency news: Kevin Shattenkirk gets 1-year deal with Lightning Roberto Luongo will go down in Panthers history in more ways than one.The team on Monday announced the veteran goaltender will become the franchise’s first player to have his number retired. “I want to thank the entire Panthers organization for this incredible recognition,” Luongo said. “It’s quite an honor to be the first player to have his number retired by the Panthers. I’m truly looking forward to sharing this special night with my friends, family, teammates and the Panthers fans.”Luongo’s 489 career wins put him third all-time behind only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. He also owns Panthers franchise records for games played by a goaltender (572), wins (230), shutouts (38) and saves (16,068).last_img read more

Federer can reach his 50th duel against Djokovic

first_img“The nice factor is that between this sport and the following one there are greater than two good days to sleep, that docs, physios attend me …”, celebrated the Swiss, who will attempt to recuperate in addition to attainable. “I hope it’s really not a lot. I’ve the thigh contracted for taking part in lots, who is aware of if due to nerves, I don’t know,” he added at a press convention.“I seen within the second set that my protection was not there. After which I bought indignant as a result of I seen that I used to be in ache. I used to be enjoying like that for some time.”, defined Federer, who has already been 12 hours and 38 minutes on the observe, whereas Djokovic accumulates 10h: 11, greater than two much less. “I don’t know in case you can speak about damage, it’s simply ache and issues. I’ve to see what it’s about,” Roger Federer mentioned when requested concerning the discomfort within the thigh of his proper leg that compelled him to ask for a health care provider useless time within the third set of his epic quarterfinal match of the Australian Open ultimate against Tennys Sandgren. The Swiss misplaced in that quarter by 3-0, however ultimately he received after lifting seven match factors within the fourth spherical. An effort that can have penalties for its 50th confrontation with Novak Djokovic, which is able to happen on Friday within the semifinals of Melbourne.last_img read more