Liverpool legend Aldridge: Crucial Firmino grabbed hat-trickby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend John Aldridge was delighted for Roberto Firmino over his hat-trick in victory over Arsenal.He wrote for the Liverpool Echo: “Arsenal were so open and left themselves exposed. It was a stunning response after going behind early on.”Roberto Firmino hasn’t been himself so far this season. He’s not been as influential and he’s been giving far too many balls away.”But that was Firmino back to his best on Saturday night. His second goal was sensational with the way he embarrassed two Arsenal defenders before producing a cool finish.”Something hasn’t been right with Firmino but he should take a huge amount of belief from the first hat-trick of his Liverpool career.”If I could have picked anyone to score a hat-trick in that game it would have been Firmino. We’ve had big contributions from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane recently and now we’ve had a match-winning performance from Firmino. That’s massive for him.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: AVB fumed when Chelsea sold De Bruyneby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWhen Chelsea sold Kevin De Bruyne, their manager at the time was furious with the club’s board.A new report has revealed that Andre Villas-Boas, who was the club’s boss in 2011, was not happy with the decision to part with De Bruyne.Chelsea felt they had enough quality in attacking midfield, allowing the Belgian to move to Werder Bremen.The Athletic says Villas-Boas did not even know that De Bruyne was being pushed for a transfer until he was sold.The matter left him livid, but it was a short lived issue as AVB lost his job two months later.Chelsea have always regretted selling De Bruyne, as he signed for Manchester City a couple of years later and went from strength to strength.
EAST LANSING, MI – NOVEMBER 24: General view of the Breslin Student Event Center as the Michigan State Spartans play against the Santa Clara Broncos on November 24, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)Michigan State lost to Illinois Saturday night, but at least one Spartans fan may have been too distracted to notice. The below video, which has now gone viral, shows a MSU supporter somewhat infatuated with the female standing in front of him in the stands. He seemingly can’t believe his eyes when he looks at her backside.Discreet, he is not. The below video seems appropriate.
IG/collegegamedayJoey Galloway is one of the best wide receivers to ever play at Ohio State. From 1991-1994, Galloway put up 2,085 total yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns, per sports-reference.com. He also did some damage in the return game, averaging 25 yards on kick returns during his career and scoring a touchdown as a senior. Today, he’s back in Columbus, and he got in some work with quarterback-turned-receiver Braxton Miller.New WR @BraxtonMiller5 gets in some work under Buckeyes legend Joey Galloway’s guidance. https://t.co/sq6pFh0QcT— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) August 10, 2015Obviously things are much easier against air, but it looks like Miller has soft hands, and is adjusting well to the move.
Email Name Message Name Send a copy of this email to yourselfIf you want to submit this form, do not enter anything in this field Brandi Morin APTN National NewsThe newly elected Alberta Assembly of First Nations regional Chief Craig Mackinaw is ready to tackle his new role starting July 1.Current regional leader Chief Cameron Alexis did not seek re-election this term as he stepped down to care for his wife who is ill with cancer.Mackinaw, from Ermineskin Cree Nation in Maskwacis, spent 18 years as a band councillor and then served as chief of the First Nation for two years. Within those two years he also served as grand chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six.He was elected at the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs gathering in Edmonton this past May and said he is confident his previous experience in politics will help him represent Alberta First Nations.“I have a good idea of what’s going on and what work needs to be done,” said Mackinaw.Some of his top priorities will be calling for action on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, addressing education gaps, child welfare issues, health inequities and resource revenue sharing.Mackinaw believes revenue sharing could be the answer to solving social and economic issues plaguing many First Nations. Alberta makes billions of dollars of profits off natural resource development and its First Nations should be making a cut of them.Alberta chiefs conducted a study several years ago which revealed that if First Nations received only 5 per cent of provincial resource revenues they would be more than capable of financial independence.“Revenue sharing would help the bands in providing services to their members. It could help in having another funding source separate from AANDC dollars. If the governments work with us it will be beneficial for everyone.”Chiefs in Alberta have been pushing the topic of resource revenue sharing for several years. In 2011 they took the issue to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who advised the chiefs to take it back to the province.Then in a 2013 meeting between chiefs and former Alberta Aboriginal Relations Minister Robin Campbell, chiefs requested the province consider resource revenue sharing. The answer was “no.” Campbell referenced that First Nations benefit from revenues like any other Albertans and said in an interview with the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society that, “we’re not going to take a share of our resource revenues and give it to First Nations.”But it’s about implementing the original intent of Treaty’s, said Mackinaw and it’s a dispute he will continue to push to resolve.“In regards to Treaty agreements the government needs to work with us on fulfilling their end. There’s some unfinished business that needs to be discussed and we need to bring those items to the table to agree on moving ahead.”Alberta chiefs believe their Treaty equates to revenue sharing, as they never signed away all of their resources.“The way it (Natural Resource Transfer Act) was set up and drafted in 1923, by the Province of Alberta regarding all our oil and gas, timber and mining and all the various industries fall underneath that. When it was drafted they didn’t consult with us. That’s where part of our problem with, especially oil and gas, there’s no revenue sharing. We should be having revenue sharing,” said Mackinaw.He is hopeful the new Alberta NDP government will sit down to discuss the issue.“It’s a wait and see what happens. Hopefully what they’re saying and what we’re reading in the news will be followed through on. Myself, I’m waiting to see. I guess we will see within the next year how they stand and how they’re going to work with us.”[email protected] Email Message Send a copy of this email to yourselfIf you want to submit this form, do not enter anything in this field
Pressure on the quarterback is often a determining factor in which team wins the Super Bowl. However, pressure does not only mean sacks. Just forcing a quarterback to release a ball sooner than he wants or hitting him as he’s releasing it can sometimes be even more advantageous than a sack.In Super Bowl XLVIII, two quick pressures by Seattle on Peyton Manning led to two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown after Manning’s arm was hit as he threw. That led to a 22-0 lead and the rout was on. Two years later in Super Bowl 50, Manning had the great defense on his side, and Von Miller forced two strip-sacks of Cam Newton that ultimately decided that game for Denver. In New England’s comeback win over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI, the turning point was when Dont’a Hightower strip-sacked Matt Ryan on a 3rd-and-1 with the Falcons up 28-12. That set up the offense on a short field and the comeback was on.It’s not so much about the volume of pressure put on a quarterback, but it’s how he handles it in the big moments on third down, in the red zone, and with the game on the line. Fortunately, that type of context is what an advanced metric such as ESPN’s QBR is able to adjust for.In 2017, Minnesota’s Case Keenum (58.5) and New England’s Tom Brady (54.0) led all quarterbacks in QBR under pressure with marks that rank among the top 10 in all seasons tracked since 2009. Brady’s placement may not come as a big surprise, but Keenum’s breakout season in Minnesota continues to be one of the wildest success stories since Kurt Warner went from bagging groceries to Super Bowl MVP in 1999. Brady has improved with ageTom Brady’s year-by-year numbers while under pressure, 2009-2017 201232.143233.85402713.810 Peyton Manning2009IND59.047.754562.9 Case Keenum2017MIN53.336.616358.5 201539.238426.48813827.311 Drew Brees2011NO54.556.035258.0 201639.186847.05321544.56 Keenum also led all quarterbacks in Football Outsiders’ passing Defense-adjusted Value Over Average metric, which measures efficiency, and he may just be the least likely quarterback to do so since 1986. A big part of Keenum’s success has been his improvement at handling pressure. When we first saw Keenum with the 2013 Houston Texans, he held the ball a long time as an inexperienced second-year player. Keenum’s pressure rate in 2013 was 38.7 percent, the second-highest season among all quarterbacks since 2009. With the Rams in 2016, Keenum ranked dead last in QBR under pressure (6.5). He took a sack on 26.7 percent of the plays he was pressured on.In Minnesota this year, Keenum has cut that mark in half, taking a sack on 13.3 percent of his pressures. Keenum has taken multiple sacks in each of his last seven games, but he was sacked just one time total from Week 5 to Week 11. A big help to Keenum has been wide receiver Adam Thielen, who led the NFL with 40 targets while his quarterback was under pressure — seven more than any other player. Thielen’s 397 receiving yards while targeted under pressure also led the NFL.Thielen is a great security blanket for Keenum, but Stefon Diggs has also been helpful in these moments. The game-winning touchdown pass to Diggs against New Orleans technically wasn’t a play under pressure, but it was a pressure-packed moment of desperation for the duo. Keenum’s QBR under pressure against New Orleans was just 26.4; he completed 4 of 10 passes for 53 yards with a bad interception that got the Saints back in the game. He’ll have to be much better against a Philadelphia defense that got after Matt Ryan often last week. For the season, Philadelphia allowed a 4.7 QBR when getting pressure on the quarterback, which ranked third among all defenses. Keenum can’t force things this week or create turnovers in what should be a low-scoring battle.Speaking of defense, the Jaguars ranked No. 1 in QBR when getting pressure (2.8). This is often a product of the Jaguars being able to get at the quarterback without sacrificing defenders in pass coverage: no defense blitzed less than Jacksonville at just 17.8 percent of its pass plays. That’s probably the right strategy against Tom Brady and the Patriots. You especially don’t want to send a big blitz of six-plus pass rushers at Brady. Since 2006 (including playoffs), Brady has 71 touchdowns to one interception against big blitzes (six-plus pass rushers).Still, at 40 years old, Brady has managed to improve in this area, posting a phenomenal season against pass pressure. His average yards per pass attempt under pressure was 8.76, the highest of any of the 277 qualified seasons since 2009. He also had the second-highest completion rate (59.0 percent) and second-highest passer rating (109.1) under pressure since 2009. The only real issue was that Brady still took 35 sacks this year, but sometimes that’s just the smart play instead of forcing a pass into coverage. Jameis Winston2016TB51.81%6.3112576.7 Tyrod Taylor2015BUF49.387.574255.0 Carson Palmer2015ARI49.647.067255.0 Tom Brady2017NE58.978.7610254.0 Jay Cutler2015CHI55.568.534369.2 201041.672986.21112510.79 Ryan Fitzpatrick2015NYJ43.405.005269.1 201334.654424.3821407.126 Rob Gronkowski and his large catch radius are obviously a big help to Brady when he’s under pressure. Gronkowski led the Patriots with 226 receiving yards when his quarterback was pressured, but Danny Amendola also has a tendency toward clutch catches. Filling in for Julian Edelman in the slot, Amendola caught 14 of 21 targets for 186 yards when Brady was pressured this year. Throw in Brandin Cooks’ 215 receiving yards in these scenarios and the Patriots have a lot of formidable weapons for defenses to worry about even when Brady is pressured. They’ll need all this playmaking ability against a tough Jacksonville defense. While the Jaguars didn’t pressure Ben Roethlisberger often last week, they did hold him to just 1-of-10 passing for 43 yards (including a brilliant touchdown to Antonio Brown) under pressure, and had a huge strip-sack returned for a touchdown in the second quarter.The Jaguars will need to do that to Brady to have a good chance at another upset, but Brady’s seen just about everything from defenses in his career. Against the Titans last week, Brady’s QBR under pressure was 87.6, including a touchdown pass to Chris Hogan and a soft toss to Amendola after heavy pressure.Even if Brady and Keenum aren’t at their best in tough matchups this weekend, they should still have a decisive advantage over the other quarterbacks. Blake Bortles finished 14th in QBR under pressure (21.2), but the strength in his game is really his scrambling ability. According to Sports Info Solutions, Bortles avoided 21 sacks this year, the second most by any quarterback (Matthew Stafford had 22). Bortles will have to use his legs against a New England defense that likes to make quarterbacks hold the ball —a unit that took down Marcus Mariota for eight sacks last week.As for the Eagles, Carson Wentz ranked third in QBR under pressure (52.7), so the offense has been missing that element since his injury. Nick Foles, in a limited sample of games, only has a 7.6 QBR under pressure this season. He’s always a hard one to predict with his unusual career path. Foles actually led all quarterbacks in QBR under pressure in 2014 with a mark of 48.2, but he was dreadful with the Rams (2.3 QBR under pressure in 2015).Then again, as Keenum has shown, stats collected in a Jeff Fisher offense may not be all that telling. If head coach Doug Pederson can devise another good game plan for Foles to implement this week, there’s no reason he can’t get this team to the Super Bowl.Then a whole new level of pressure begins. YearCmp %YardsYPATDINTSacksQBRQBR Rank Regular season onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Keenum and Brady are elite with defenders in their facesThe best seasons based on QBR while facing pressure, 2009-2017 Includes all action plays (passes, sacks, runs); regular season onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Aaron Rodgers2016GB48.185.9610166.7 201442.025684.77452136.33 201758.9710258.761023554.02 PlayerYearTeamCMP %YPATDINTQBR Dak Prescott2016DAL50.435.213052.4 200945.637036.83771634.16 201141.033874.96313215.013 Carson Wentz2017PHI43.436.378052.7
Oregon State is lead by junior forward Jordan Jones, who tallied two goals and one assist in the team’s first two games. Jones and teammate Timmy Mueller have combined to score 36 career goals over the course of the past two seasons. “These are probably the two most important games that I can see in the upcoming future,” senior forward Danny Jensen said. “You don’t want to start 0-4 obviously so getting at least your first win and hopefully getting two wins out there is really what everyone is focused on.” “Portland is a very, very good attacking team so we are going to have to – again – play against a side that is capable of creating chances,” Bluem said. This season, Portland is 1-1 to start the year, with a loss to Wright State 3-1 and a win over DePaul 2-1. It is their first year under head coach Nick Carlin-Voigt. “Oregon State in the second game is a team that also uses its physical tools,” Bluem said. “It sounds like they play pretty direct. We have to be ready at all times for them to play a long ball at you and try to use their speed and strength and beat you.” OSU mens soccer players gather in a huddle during a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s soccer team will hit the road this weekend to take on two West Coast opponents – Portland on Friday and Oregon State on Monday. It will be the first regular season West Coast action for the Buckeyes since 2012. It’s OSU first match against either team.The trip comes on the heels of back-to-back overtime losses at home to start the season, falling 1-0 in double overtime to Virginia Tech and 1-0 in overtime to UC Santa Barbara. The Buckeyes will look to get back on the right track in the Beaver State. The first game for the Buckeyes this weekend will come against Portland on Friday at 10 p.m. ET. The Pilots are coming off a 2015 campaign in which they finished with a 3-12-3 record, where they averaged exactly two goals against per game a year ago. Another issue facing the Buckeyes in their first two games was injuries. OSU only played 12 men in its game against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. Reinforcements, however, are expected to be on the way. The main issue facing Ohio State early in the season has been scoring. The team did not manage to find the back of the net in either game it has played so far. Offense was the main point of emphasis in practice this week. The Buckeyes will faceoff against Oregon State on Monday at 3 p.m. ET. The Beavers are 1-0-1 on the season, playing to a 1-1 draw against DePaul and beating up on Wright State 4-0. They are outshooting their opponents 33-17 to start the year, and they lead the Pac-12 in assists with seven. All three of the Pilot’s goals this season have come from sophomore forward Jackson Jellah. Jellah did not score a goal in the entire 2015 season, despite playing in 16 games. “First two games we did real well defending. Our defense stepped up,” sophomore midfielder Abdi Mohamed said. “Offensively, I think we just need to start finishing better. We need to just move off the ball. Our forwards just need to have confidence that they can finish and put the ball in the back of the net.” “We are starting to get healthy,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “We are taking the full squad out to Portland with us. We expect that probably everybody will be able to play this weekend.” The Buckeyes will return home on Sept. 9, opening Big Ten play against Northwestern at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
After missing out last season, the Ohio State baseball team is making its return to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament at Huntington Park on Wednesday. “I’m really excited to play in the Big Ten Tournament and have an opportunity to win the Big Ten Championship,” coach Greg Beals said. The Buckeyes (25-25, 13-11) clinched a tournament berth with a series win at Minnesota over the weekend. OSU secured the No. 4 seed with a 3-0 win Saturday behind a strong outing from freshman starter Greg Greve, who threw eight shutout innings. “I liked most that we decided our fate on the field ourselves,” Beals said. “We needed to win Saturday and played probably our cleanest game of the season all year long.” It was the first time in program history that OSU won a series at Minnesota. “When you think about all the great teams OSU has had and to have never won there before, it’s crazy to think about,” Beals said. “For us to accomplish that this year, it’s something great.” Beals credited his seniors for helping give the team momentum down the stretch. “It’s senior leadership,” Beals said. “They can see the light at the end of the tunnel and they’re trying to push that light further and further away. They want to play as long as they can and they’re just playing with great determination.” OSU, making its 14th tournament appearance in 15 years, has to travel just a few miles away from campus for a chance at the Big Ten Championship. “We’re playing in home in Columbus,” Beals said, “and it is as friendly an environment as it can be for a conference tournament.” OSU will face a familiar opponent in its opener against the No. 5-seeded Golden Gophers (22-22, 13-11). Minnesota, which was the Big Ten coaches’ preseason favorite to win the league, is the reigning conference champion and has the most tournament championships and appearances, with nine and 27, respectively. “Our game plan against this Minnesota weekend was solid,” Beals said. “We’re going to go out and run the same plan again.” Senior pitcher Drew Rucinski, who will start against the Golden Gophers, said it shouldn’t be too difficult facing a team again so soon. “It’s a little bit tougher,” Rucinski said. “But it’s just another team lineup that’s trying to hit the ball. They’ve got to hit the ball just like I’ve got to throw the ball.” Greve, who the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, said he is excited for his first experience in tournament play. “I can’t wait,” Greve said. “It’s been our goal all year to make the tournament, and now we have to go out and make the most of this opportunity.” Illinois (25-25, 15-9) and Michigan State (34-19, 15-9) were awarded the top seeds of the tournament after finishing as Big Ten regular-season co-champions. The Fighting Illini were given the No. 1 seed after winning their season series against the Spartans. No. 3 seed Purdue (36-18, 14-10) is making its fourth straight tournament appearance, the longest active streak of any Big Ten team. Purdue faces No. 6-seeded Penn State (32-20, 12-12), which returns to the tournament for the first time since 2008. The double-elimination tournament, which started in 1981, will run Wednesday through Saturday. OSU and Minnesota will open up tournament play at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday.