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

Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from No. 6 Syracuse men’s lacrosse 10-9 win over No. 12 Albany

first_imgAfter falling into a first-half hole, Syracuse mounted a furious second-half comeback against Albany on Saturday afternoon inside the Carrier Dome. Nick Mariano played the hero with his goal off a feed from Nate Solomon with 1.6 seconds to go.Here are three quick takeaways from  Syracuse’s (2-0) 10-9, victory over No. 12 Albany (0-1).Nick Mariano plays the heroA week after posting a career day against Siena, Nick Mariano delivered for Syracuse with 1.6 seconds to go to give Syracuse what amounts to a buzzer-beating win over the Great Danes on Saturday afternoon.After spending the day mostly shut off by preseason All-American Stone Sims, he found space cutting from right to left in front of the goal and rifled it past the right side of Albany goalkeeper JD Colarusso. Mariano’s goal saved the Orange from its second-ever program loss to the Great Danes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlternative optionsAlbany locked down Syracuse’s best scoring threats and forced the Orange to look elsewhere for its production. The Great Danes put Sims on Mariano, junior AJ Kluck shadowed Jordan Evans and sophomore Erik Dluhy shut off Nate Solomon. The trio combined for one point.But Syracuse found lesser-known options more than capable. On five of SU’s first seven goals, it was the first point of the season for the person scoring. Defender Tyson Bomberry broke the seal for the Orange and midfielder Pat Carlin brought Syracuse back to within 6-3 just before the end of the half. Midfielder Matt Lane, who tried repeatedly to bulldoze his defender, finally spotted up with 10:42 to go in the third quarter and rifled one by Colarusso.Freshman attack Jamie Trimboli scored his first career goal in bringing the Orange to within one at 6-5, and longstick midfielder Austin Fusco scored his second to put the Orange ahead, 7-6. But in crunch-time, Syracuse leaned on the proven veterans who came through.Faulty first frameSyracuse struggled mightily in the first half against Albany as the Great Danes jumped out to a 6-3 lead. Despite winning eight of 11 faceoffs and remaining about level in every other statistical category, the Orange found themselves down at the buzzer.The Great Danes took advantage of poor rotations and attacks caught on defense in transition to score each of their first three goals. Late slides by both Andrew Helmer and Austin Fusco, rotating at longstick midfielder, were exploited when out of position.On the other half of the field, Syracuse couldn’t get its top scoring threats going. With star Albany goalkeeper Blaze Riordan gone due to graduation, Colarusso picked up where his predecessor left off. He stonewalled Syracuse for three goals on 19 shots. Attacks Nick Mariano and Jordan Evans were pointless on six total shots. Three of the Orange’s top six offensive players had at least one turnover. Attack Nate Solomon didn’t register a shot.But that didn’t matter. Nick Mariano made sure it didn’t. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TRlast_img read more

Giving big-money to quarterbacks guarantees nothing

first_imgIn this Nov. 15, 2018, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, in Seattle.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)Giving quarterbacks big money doesn’t guarantee success or even playoff appearances.The NFL’s six highest-paid quarterbacks in 2018 will be spectators this postseason. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million), Atlanta’s Matt Ryan ($30 million), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins ($28 million), San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million), Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ($27 million) and Oakland’s Derek Carr ($25 million) couldn’t lead their teams to the playoffs.Only Cousins had a winning record (8-7-1), and he failed in a do-or-die game in the regular-season finale. Cousins, who received a three-year, fully guaranteed, $84 million contract, struggled in a 24-10 loss to the Chicago Bears that eliminated the Vikings.Of the top six on the salary list, only Rodgers has won a Super Bowl. Ryan is 4-6 in the playoffs, Stafford is 0-3 and Cousins is 0-1. Carr and Garoppolo haven’t made a postseason start.Among the 12 starting quarterbacks still playing, six are still under their rookie contract and another — Nick Foles — is a backup.Here’s a look at a few more numbers entering wild-card weekend:SETTING RECORDS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees broke his own record with a 74.4 completion percentage, the highest in a season in NFL history. … Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz set a record for most receptions by a tight end (116). … San Francisco’s George Kittle set a record for most yards receiving by a tight end (1,377). … Teams combined to score 1,371 total touchdowns, the highest total in a season. … Eight quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher, most in a season.LAST MAN STANDING: Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson is the only one of seven coaches hired in 2016 still with his team. Adam Gase (23-26, Miami), Chip Kelly (2-14, San Francisco), Hue Jackson (3-36-1, Cleveland), Mike Mularkey (19-17, Tennessee), Dirk Koetter (19-29, Tampa Bay) and Ben McAdoo (13-16, Giants) all were fired, some sooner than others.WORST TO FIRST: The Bears (12-4) and Texans (11-5) won their divisions after finishing in last place in 2017. The Eagles won the Super Bowl last year after going worst-to-first in the NFC East.THE NEWCOMERS: Seven teams who weren’t in the playoffs last season qualified this year. All seven — Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle — will play this weekend. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the previous year.WILD-CARD CHAMPS: Nine teams who played wild-card games have won the Super Bowl, including the 1980 Raiders, 1997 Broncos, 2000 and 2012 Ravens, 2005 Steelers, 2006 Colts, 2007 and 2011 Giants and 2010 Packers.TOUGHEST ROAD: The Eagles and Colts are each trying to become only the third No. 6 seed to win a Super Bowl, joining the 2005 Steelers and 2010 Packers.EASIEST ROAD: Since 1975, 49 of the 86 teams (57 percent) to reach the Super Bowl were No. 1 seeds. In that span, 20 No. 2 seeds, four No. 3, nine No. 4, two No. 5 and two No. 6 made it. Over the past five years, nine of 10 No. 1 seeds played in the Super Bowl. Only the 2016 Cowboys didn’t get in.WELCOME TO THE DANCE: Four quarterbacks will make their postseason debut as starters. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky and Houston’s Deshaun Watson play this weekend. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has a bye.STINGY DEFENSE: In three of the past four seasons, the teams with the stringiest regular-season scoring defense have advanced to the Super Bowl. The Bears led the league with the fewest points allowed per game (17.7) this season.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddilast_img read more

Bolts torch Gin Kings

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Earlier, Star capitalized on Blackwater’s misery and opened their campaign with an emphatic 103-86 win.The Elite couldn’t nail their shots from afar and got roughed up in the lane. Worse, the team’s most consistent performer, import Trevis Simpson, was plagued by an injury at a time they needed him most.Simpson crumpled to the floor with almost a full quarter to go and the Hotshots wasted no time in dealing the lethal blows as center Ian Sangalang and PJ Simon conspired for the finishing kick.MERALCO 93—Durham 30, Dillinger 17, Newsome 16, Hodge 10, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 4, Lanete 3, Caram 0, Chua 0, Atkins 0, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0.GINEBRA 78—Tenorio 16, Slaughter 14, Brownlee 13, Thompson 9, Mercado 8, Aguilar 6, Ellis 6, Marcelo 4, Taha 2, Mariano 0, Devance 0, Caguioa 0.Quarters: 21-32, 43-45, 72-57, 93-78ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee (right) and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge battle for possession in Sunday’s PBA main game at Smart Araneta Coliseum. —AUGUST DELA CRUZMeralco certainly didn’t like the way things ended a year ago after Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee finished their championship series with a game-winning three at the buzzer.Eager to get back at their tormentor, the Bolts downed the Gin Kings, 93-78, on sustained grit and hustle before an unfriendly crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT In a rematch of last year’s finals of the PBA Governors Cup, Allen Durham efficiently worked in the lane and neutralized the damage that Ginebra’s twin towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar could possibly inflict as the Bolts again won with authority for the second consecutive game this conference.Last year’s Best Import lit up the stat sheets with 30 points, 24 rebounds and eight assists and got contributions from the energetic crew of Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger and Cliff Hodge.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The turning point came when the Bolts engineered a huge run in the third quarter, building as many as 19 before settling with a 15-point cushion that they protected until the final buzzer.Brownlee hardly contributed to turn the tide around and obviously wasn’t in his element in the opening match of the Kings, who are bidding for a back-to-back championship in the season-ending conference. MOST READ View comments Ceres-Negros extends winning run at home turflast_img read more

Ginebra leans on Thompson’s lockdown defense, triple double in crucial win

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone knew they couldn’t afford to let Pringle catch fire once more especially with the no. 6 spot in the standings, and a best-of-three quarterfinals series, hanging in the balance.Fortunately, Cone had a defensive dynamo in triple-double machine Scottie Thompson who could put breaks on Pringle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Thompson put the clamps on Pringle, limiting Globalport’s star to just 14 points, with only one field goal from two-point area, as the Gin Kings cruised to an easy 116-98 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.“I think the key to the game was how well Scottie Thompson played Pringle on defense,” said Cone Friday at Cuneta Astrodome. “I just felt he was outstanding, I don’t remember, I’m probably wrong, but I don’t remember Stanley getting a two-point shot.” Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs MOST READ When Stanley Pringle put up a career-high 50 points in Globalport’s previous game, Barangay Ginebra immediately took notice.ADVERTISEMENT NCAA Season 94 officially opens Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West “I just remember him scoring on a two-point shot at a transition layup. Scottie did a great job on limiting his touches and that was really the key,” added Cone.And Thompson did not just limit Pringle, but he also recorded his fourth career triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.Ginebra also sealed the no. 6 seed wherein they won’t have a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals.“Coming into this game, I only had one focus but to limit him,” said Thompson, who helped the Gin Kings to their fifth straight win and a 6-5 record, in Filipino. “We really prepared for that because he just had 50 points.”“The coaching staff had a well thought of game plan and that was what brought us the victory,” added Thompson.ADVERTISEMENT Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding View commentslast_img read more

Lindener jailed for B&E

first_imgA Lindener will be spending the next four years in prison after he admitted to two breaking and entering and larceny charges.The sentence was handed down to Alersli Higgins, 33, on Wednesday by Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court.Higgins of Lot 75 Canvas City, Wismar, Linden, admitted that on March 13 and 14, he broke and entered the storeroom of Sherryann Alsopp at Lot 85 One Mile, Wismar, and stole 24 chain saw blades valued ,000, a quantity of clothing valued 0,000, a slaughter valued 6,000 and other articles amounting to a total of 3,000.According to the prosecution’s case, the defendant was arrested after a report of theft was made to the Police and he admitted to committing the offence.The court also heard that on March 1, 2016, Higgins broke and entered the home of Winston Kingston at Phase 1B Wisroc, Wismar and stole a gold chain valued ,000, a gold band valued ,000, a pair of gold earrings valued ,000, and US0.Before the Magistrate handed down his sentenced, the defendant begged for leniency, noting that he was young, and chose not to waste the court’s time.In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Nurse said that he took into consideration the fact that the defendant did not waste the court’s time. He told the defendant, however that he wanted to send the right message that what he did was “not cool”, adding that he hopes the time spent behind bars would be used to reflect on his life and make the right changes.The sentences will run concurrently.last_img read more

Ford trades in hockey gear for whistle as next chapter of hockey career begins

first_imgAfter splitting time with the Milwaukee Admirals and the South Carolina Stingrays last season of the American Hockey League, and East Coast Hockey League respectively Scott Ford has hung up his skates as far as his playing career is concerned. Ford will still be active with hockey however as he’s accepted an assistant coach position with the Admirals.Ford said last season’s end losing in the ECHL finals was difficult, but as the off season progressed he admitted the motivation to return wasn’t there as it had been in years past.“It was kind of bitter sweet how last year ended losing out in the style that we did. I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue to play or not. I just didn’t feel as much desire as I had in the past to get back on the ice as the season came closer to a start,” he said.- Advertisement -Certainly no stranger to leadership roles having captained a number of teams, getting into coaching seemed to be a natural fit for the Fort St. John alum. After bringing up the possibility in the beginning of the summer, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile followed up with Ford a few weeks ago to see if he was still interested in coaching.“This opportunity came up with Nashville and Milwaukee to stay within the organization to do some coaching and player development. I had spoken with them earlier in the summer upon finishing up in South Carolina and nothing really came to fruition for awhile. A couple of weeks ago David Poile called and offered me a position. It was something where I had to think about for a bit but it was time. It’s a great opportunity to still be involved and to transition into another role within a game that I’ve spent the better part of my life being passionate about.”As for his responsibilities as of now, this time of year is the busiest for Ford. Currently he’s in Nashville with the rest of the Admirals coaching staff going through the initial evaluations of the team’s rookies and prospects.Advertisement “I got my feet wet so to speak today. We’re all down here in Nashville right now for rookie camp through main camp. On the ice today we had our first practice with the prospects and rookies. We practice again tomorrow morning and then we’re off to Tampa for their rookie tournament. It will be cool. They’ve got four teams down there and they kind of do a rookie showcase tournament. It will give me an opportunity to see that side of it. It’s been pretty overwhelming and very busy in the sense of everything is happening so fast and being thrown into the mix.”Ford and the rest of the coaches will return to Nashville for the main camp on September 16.His professional career began in the 2004-2005 season with the Cleveland Barons and Fresno Falcons. Over his time with a number of clubs he tallied totals of 31 regular season goals over his career along with 85 assists. Ford was no stranger to the penalty box amassing 1,055 penalty minutes.His playoff totals as a pro include one goal, 16 assists, and 85 penalty minutes.Advertisementlast_img read more

Man City boosted by the return of inspirational figure for Tottenham trip

first_imgManchester City will be lifted by the return of inspirational captain Vincent Kompany as they bid to reassert their authority this weekend.The Barclays Premier League leaders surrendered their 100 per cent record, and conceded for the first time domestically, as they slipped to a surprise loss to West Ham last weekend.Central defender Kompany missed the game having been forced off with a calf injury during the Champions League loss to Juventus four days previously.The Belgian is now set to return in place of Eliaquim Mangala – alongside whom he had helped keep five successive clean sheets – at Tottenham on Saturday as the Frenchman misses out with a groin problem.Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “It is important for the team that Vincent has just recovered from his injury. He is the captain and he started the season very well, not only as a defender, but he scored three important goals also.”Kompany’s return, along with that of Samir Nasri after a minor problem, was the welcome fitness news to emerge from Pellegrini’s pre-match press conference.But on the downside, playmaker David Silva remains sidelined with a calf injury and strikers Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Iheanacho have also been ruled out with knocks. Mangala could be out until after next month’s international break, joining the likes of Gael Clichy and Fabian Delph on the longer-term casualty list.Pablo Zabaleta is at least near to a return and Pellegrini is hopeful Silva could feature in Tuesday’s Champions League game at Borussia Monchengladbach.Pellegrini said of the injury list: “It doesn’t seem very long – it is very long! We have had a lot of injured players with different injuries. There is not just one reason for it.“That is why I say it is important to have a squad because you are going to win or lose the title by just one or two points. Normally the difference is not more.” Vincent Kompany 1last_img read more

5 cheap last minute Halloween costume ideas

first_imgIt’s that time of year again when people dress up as their favourite characters, spooky spectres, or something witty. Inspiration can be hard to come across, with many planning their outfits weeks in advance.Heading out tonight but don’t have a costume?Here’s five costume ideas (using things you already have lying around at home):  ZombieBeing a zombie is really simple – just cut up an old t-shirt, add some fake blood, and put some black eyeshadow under your eyes.  The best part about this costume? It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake! You can also get more adventurous by buying a small zombie palette for a couple of euro. You can check out a tutorial by clicking here. Voilá – a zombie!   Eleven from ‘Stranger Things’All you need for this costume is a pink dress (which you/one of your friends probably already has) and white tube socks. Although Eleven is bald for most of the series, you can style your hair like hers when she wears the blonde wig. Draw some blood coming out your left nostril and you’re good to go. A SimGot some green card, a hairband, and a few minutes to spare? Why not be a sim? Click here to see a tutorial on how to make the plumbob. God’s giftYou can opt to dress up as God’s lift to men/women with a sheet of paper and accessorize with a few tasteful Christmas bows. BatGot an old umbrella lying around? Click here to see how you can transform your broken umbrella into a pair of batwings! Happy Halloween! 5 cheap last minute Halloween costume ideas was last modified: October 29th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cheapcostumeeasyhalloween costumequicklast_img read more

THE HOOPS REPORT: CELTIC TO FACE RANGERS IN LEAGUE CUP FINAL

first_imgCELTIC WILL play Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance League Cup Final on March 20th after Walter Smith’s side beat Motherwell 2-1 at Hampden today.Yesterday Kris Commons inspired Celtic as they destroyed Aberdeen with four goals in the opening 33 minutes to breeze into the final.New signing Commons – who revealed his friend former Celt and ex-Ranger Kenny Miller had persuaded him to go to Parkhead instead of Ibrox- scored the opening goal with a sublime chip into the far corner after five minutes. Former Aberdeen defender Charlie Mulgrew headed the second four minutes later and Thomas Rogne rose to finish for the third after 20 minutes.Anthony Stokes made it 4-0 before Scott Vernon’s headed reply.Many of 12,000-odd Aberdeen fans had taken Celtic’s fourth goal as a signal to desert Hampden with their dream of a first final since May 2000 having already virtually disappeared.Celtic dropped the pace, sparing the Dons the spectre of a repeat of that historic 9-0 Scottish Premier League defeat in November, safe in the knowledge that they will face Motherwell or Rangers in the final. Commons had come straight into the Celtic starting line-up after his transfer from Derby County, replacing the injured James Forrest on the wing.Rangers play Motherwell on Sunday in the other semi-finalTHE HOOPS REPORT: CELTIC TO FACE RANGERS IN LEAGUE CUP FINAL was last modified: January 30th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more