West Lafayette, IN — First the wrestling team, then the men’s team and now the women’s basketball team; all three defeated a rival Indiana University this weekend.
Freshman Kayana Traylor led the Lady Boilermakers in the upset at home against the 25th ranked IU Hoosiers. Traylor attacked the Hoosiers with mid range shots from the left side of the lane. With 15 points, 5 of 10 from the field and 4 of 5 from the foul line, she set a new career high in the win.
This rivalry matchup was played close by both teams. The lead changed seven times throughout and was tied up 11 times.
The biggest difference on the court came down to foul trouble. IU shot 5/6 on foul shots. The high success rate didn’t factor in when Purdue was at the line 21 times and drained 16 of them.
Purdue’s standout guard Karissa McLaughlin went 6/6 from the foul line, adding to her 14 total points. The shots Purdue was allowed from the foul line gave it the advantage of scoring more as well as remaining outside of foul trouble.
A change in the defensive approach after halftime allowed Purdue to limit IU’s shooting. A clean full court press trapped the Hoosier’s Bendu Yeaney with minimal mistakes. IU scores 18 in the second period and then was held to just 11 and 10 in the remaining two.
The full court defensive gave the Boilers 19 points from turnovers, opposed to IU’s 11.
The final minutes consisted of several ties and lead changes. Purdue would be trailing by one with under four minutes left when McLaughlin worked her way to the post for 2. Another clutch 2 from McLaughlin gave Purdue the lead with seconds left.
Missing from Purdue’s game was any type of range. Traylor and Cassidy Hardin hit the only shots outside the circle. The team was 2/8 on 3s. IU finished 6/16.
Purdue starts Big 10 road tour to see Minnesota Thursday and Iowa on Sunday. The team is now 14-6, 5-2 in Big 10 play.
Los Angeles, CA – The USC basketball team came into the matchup with crosstown rival UCLA on a four-game losing streak against the Bruins.
USC junior forward Nick Rakocevic scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help USC to a dominating 80-67 win over UCLA Saturday at the Galen Center.
Bennie Boatwright added 21 points and made a season-high five three-pointers. USC won its fifth consecutive home game and improved to 3-0 in home conference games this season.
“It was important to get off to a good start,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said. “They came back, we knew they’d make a run. With 19 minutes to go, I thought our defense picked us up and we made shots.”
After UCLA’s Moses Brown tied it at 38, Boatwright drained back-to-back three’s to spark the Trojans 28-7 run in the second half. The Trojans led by as many as 26.
UCLA went scoreless over four minutes while USC went on a 14-0 run to take a 60-42 with 11:07 remaining in the game. The Trojans played suffocating defense in the second half, holding UCLA’s shooting to 37.8 percent.
“Last year, they came and beat us here,” Jonah Mathews said. “We couldn’t let that happen this year. It was personal for all of us.”
USC opened the game hitting 5-of-7 from the field and took 12-4 lead. The Bruins mounted a 10-2 run but still trailed, 18-14, with 11:04 left in the first half.
The Trojans scored seven straight points to end the first half with a 36-33 lead. USC had a season-high 26 assists and made 12 three-point baskets.
“We gave great effort,” Enfield said. “We challenged shots. We did a decent job on the boards. We rotated quickly. We got in front of them and made it hard for them to get to the basket.
USC’s next game will be against Arizona at the Galen Center on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.
Los Angeles, CA – A stage full of talent with quick minds and tongues that can cut the best of them, were on hand for Guy Torry’s 50th Birthday Comedy Roast Friday night at The Novo.
Comedian Guy Torry was center stage for his roast that was hosted by Jemele Hill to keep the jokes flowing all night. Fourteen friends had chairs on stage with him from his college roomate to Chris Spencer.
With most of the folks all knowing each other through comedy brought out the best from his friends when they hit the mic, cracking each other and Guy all night.
This was a special milestone for Guy turning 50 years-old coming from East St. Louis to Los Angeles.
He revealed that he did the roast to raise money and awareness for charity he helps out “My Friends House” Foundation Los Angeles who feeds/clothes the homeless on skid row every Wednesday.
There were a few video roast from folks who could not make it, but there was one that caught Guy by surprise. Mama Torry dropped a message on him, that choked him up and touched his heart in a special way.
Buddy Lewis and Kym Whitley garner a lot of attention all night from dishing out jokes or being the bud of them.
The event kicked off with the red carpet before VIPs enjoyed a seperate floor to relax and enjoy before the show.
Guy closed out the show with some thank you, and gratitude for make Phat Tuesdays a huge success over the year.
Santa Clara, CA – Clemson just went three & out to start the game. Now it was Alabama time, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who became a household name last season in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against this same school.
This time the Tigers were ready for Tagovailoa when A.J. Terrell jumped the route for a pick six and ignited a 44-16 victory in CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game at Levis Stadium.
Now Clemson with this win has won its second National Championship in three years over previous No 1 team Alabama.
“Just amazing. I’m so proud of our team,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, “But tonight, there’s no doubt.”
Led by true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence who finished the game with 347 yards three touchdowns. Lawrence targeted nine different receivers in this game, but it was his your guns who stepped up making some crazy catches to move the chains.
Justyn Ross led Clemson receivers with 154 yards and huge 74 yard touchdown catch with a shake & bake in the third quarter making the score 37-16 8:04 to play.
Just as impressive was running back Travis Etienne who in the red zone was a dual threat scoring two rushing touchdowns and catching a touchdown pass as well. He carried ball 14 times for 86 yards average 6.1 yards.
“The games like this you’ve got to make big plays,” said Lawrence, “You just give them a chance, and they’ll come down with it.(football)”
Alabama coach Nick Saban never seem to be hot or cold today wearing a poker face all game. He saw his quarterback make some mistake but shake it off and score at least in the first quarter.
Turnovers added fuel to fire for the Clemson offense and kept Alabama offense off the field.
The defensive line who looks like they all should be playing on Sundays right now gave Alabama all they could handled. The elusive Tagovailoa was only sacked twice but they were applying pressure all night.
Safety Isaiah Simmons led Clemson with nine tackles, six solo with a tackle for a loss. It was the secondary who benefited from front line play.
The front line anchor Christian Wilkins recorded four tackles and .05 sack leading their charge in the absence of Dexter Lawrence.
Before the Tigers left the field, he already challenged his team that they need to learn from this win and be ready to back for next year championship.
“So thankful, and can’t wait to get back started Friday and see if we can find a way to go do it again,” said Swinney.
They always say DEFENSE wins championships, but the NFL rules have started to swing the pendulum too great offense.
Once you take a dive into the numbers they paint a different picture then most would assume.
Looking at the 2018 Playoff Teams first, AFC No 1 seed Chiefs (12-4) have the 31st defense in the NFL. For the NFC No 1 seed Saints (13-3) have the 14th defense in the NFL.
AFC No 3 seed Ravens with the No 1 defense overall who battles in a Wildcard game with No 5 Chargers whose defense ranked 9th in the League. The No 2 defense overall in the NFL Bills who didn’t even make the playoffs didn’t have to offense to help.
The NFC greatest show earlier in the season was the Rams with 19th defense and an explosive running game.
With the league being pass happy you would expect playoff teams to have some balance on defense. But 4 of last 5 teams in defending the pass are playoffs teams No 28 Texans, No 29 Saints, No 30 Eagles, No 31 Chiefs.
Then 8 of the top 10 teams stopping the run all made the playoffs with Bears hold No 1 spot only allowing 80 yards a game. The Chiefs are the worst at No 27 allowing 132.1 yards a game, followed by Rams No 23 allowing 122 yards a game.
The No 1 Chiefs, No 2 Rams in net total yards in NFL has allowed them to overcome mediocre defense to make the playoffs. 6 of the top offense have made the playoffs this season.
Buccaneers and the Steelers who both were not on the playoffs guest list led the NFL with best passing offense, Chiefs is best passing team in the playoffs with No 3 passing offense.
A good running game seems to be a big key with 8 of top 10 teams in the playoffs. The No 1 rushing team was Seahawks with 160 yards a game. Over the years based on salary and rookie contracts most teams don’t value running backs.
The Steelers this year let Le’Veon Bell sit the season out because that didn’t value him enough to pay him. Now the Giants are one of few teams that said I want a running back picking Saquon Barkley with the No 2 pick overall.
In the end numbers are cute, but matchups and having a healthy team with a few breaks will earn you a Lombardi Trophy.
Los Angeles, CA – USC junior Nick Rakocevic went on a tear to begin the second half, scoring 10 straight points and 14 of the Trojans first 18 of the half.
The 6-11 forward scored a career-high 27 points to help the Trojans to a 82-73 win over Cal in the conference opener Thursday night at the Galen Center.
“I owe my teammates all the credit,” Rakocevic said. “They were looking for me and made my job easier. I just had to make layups.”
The Trojans improved to 8-6 and won its third straight game. Rakocevic made 12-of-14 from the field while Bennie Boatwright added 19 points. USC junior guard Derryck Thornton recorded his first career double-double, scoring 13 points while dishing out 12 assists.
“We made adjustments at halftime and Nick was able to get behind the defense,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said. “He did a great job of finding the open area. He played efficiently and extremely well in the second half.”
USC led by as many as 11 in the first half and 15 in the second half but Cal made went on a 17-6 run to trim the lead, 71-67, with 2:45 left in the game. Shaqquan Aaron drained a three and Boatwright knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the lead.
“Shaqquan’s three (late) was huge,” Boatwright said. “It stopped their run. It was a big-time shot by a big-time player. And Nick had a heck of a game.”
With only seven scholarship players and two walk-ons available for the game, USC managed to lead the majority of the game and finished with 21 assists. The Trojans are averaging 20.5 assists this season.
“Assists are key for us,” Enfield said. “We need to share the basketball and take uncontested shots. I’m proud of our guys, we’re leading the Pac-12 again in assists.”
Freshman guard Elijah Weaver re-aggravated his left ankle sprain during shootaround today and is listed as day-to-day. Sophomore guard Charles O’Bannon Jr. is still out recovering from left pinky surgery and freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. is still out recovering from a right quadriceps contusion.
“We played hard with a short bench,” Enfield said. “We shared the basketball. I’m proud of their effort. We had 7 scholarship players tonight. It’s very challenging. It’s hard to get in a rhythm, it’s hard to practice. We need guys to get healthy.”
USC will stay home to host Stanford Sunday at 5 p.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day has named Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich as the Buckeyes passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Yurcich will receive a two-year contract worth 950,000 annually.
Yurcich, who is 43, is officially the second coach hired by Day to be on his Ohio State staff. Wide receiver coach Brian Hartline was promoted to permanent status in December after coaching the 2018 Buckeye receivers to a record-breaking campaign as a group in 2018.
“I am really excited to announce that Mike is joining the Ohio State staff,” said Day on officially Day 1 of his tenure as the 25th head coach in Ohio State’s storied history. “Mike is not only an Ohioan coming home, but he is also an extremely talented coach who has enjoyed success throughout his career. His Oklahoma State offenses have been among the most proficient in college football and I look forward to welcoming and introducing Mike and his family to our staff, players and community.”
Yurcich, who is originally from Euclid, Ohio, has spent 20 years coaching at the collegiate level within a variety of divisions. His Oklahoma State tenure, six seasons between 2013 and 2018, is most impressive and includes two nominations for the Broyles Award as the nation’s outstanding assistant coach.
Oklahoma State experienced one of its great offensive eras under Yurcich, with the program averaging 38.0 points per game and 478.3 yards per game throughout his six-year run. The Cowboys scored 40 or more points 35 times (in 76 games) and put up 50 or more points 15 times.
Oklahoma State produced four of the school’s top 10 seasons in total offense under Yurcich. As a result: the Cowboys were 52-24 during this time with four 10-win seasons and four bowl game victories. Twice the Cowboys appeared in a New Year’s Six game: the 2016 Sugar Bowl and the 2014 Cotton Bowl.
Entering the 2018 bowl season, Oklahoma State’s offense ranked in the top 15 nationally in scoring, total offense, passing offense and first downs. The Cowboys also ranked second in the Big 12 in rushing offense, rushing touchdowns and yards per carry. Leading the way was walk-on quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who Yurcich developed into a top-10 ranked player nationally in passing yards, touchdowns, total offense and points responsible for.
The 2017 Oklahoma State offense was arguably the best in school history, featuring a 4,000-yard passer (Mason Rudolph), two 1,000-yard receivers (James Washington and Marcell Ateman) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Justice Hill). The Cowboy offense led the nation in passing (389.2 yards per game), was second in total offense (568.9) and ranked fourth in scoring (45.0). Rudolph was the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as college football’s best quarterback and Washington won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s outstanding receiver.
Over Yurcich’s six years at Oklahoma State, the program ranked fifth nationally in passing yards per game (315.9), 11th in touchdown passes (179), seventh in total yards (478.6) and sixth in scoring (38.0).
Yurcich was hired at Oklahoma State after two seasons (2011-12) as offensive coordinator at Shippensburg University. His first Shippensburg team set numerous school records, including points scored, touchdowns and total offense. His second led the NCAA Division II in total offense (529.2) and was second in scoring (46.9) and passing (387.7) during an 11-2 campaign. Quarterback Zach Zulli was one of his most decorated players, winning the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II.
Yurcich coached six seasons at Edinboro University from 2005-10, handling quarterbacks and wide receivers in 2005 and adding offensive coordinator duties to his title for the five seasons between 2006 and 2010.
A four-year stay (1999-2002) at Saint Francis (Ind.) coaching running backs, quarterbacks and ultimately serving as offensive coordinator in 2002 was Yurcich’s introduction into the coaching profession. He then moved on to an offensive graduate assistant position at Indiana University for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Yurcich is a 1999 graduate of California University in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Julie, who is from Youngstown, Ohio and was an All-America cross country runner at Edinboro, have three children: sons Jack and Clay, and a daughter, Maria.
Pasadena, CA -Urban Meyer ends his coaching career at Ohio State with a win in the Rose Bowl. This is the first time Meyer has won the Granddaddy of them all.
The No.6 Buckeyes held on to defeat No. 9 Washington, 28-23, in the Rose Bowl on Tuesday in Pasadena. Meyer retires with a career record of 187-32 in 17 seasons at four schools and 12-3 in bowl games.
“This has always been a bucket list,” Meyer said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about as long as I’ve been watching Ohio State football, which is as long as I’ve been around. And it was everything and more. So thank you to the Rose Bowl people.”
Meyer’s coaching career includes three national championships and an .854 winning percentage, third best in FBS history.
“I’ve been blessed,” Meyer said. “I know this is relatively young, but I started young. 17 years as a head coach, 33 years doing this. And just very fortunate, and I do believe I’m done.”
Ohio State dominated the Huskies for three quarters, leading 28-3, but Washington mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter scoring three touchdowns.
Washington tailback Myles Gaskins threw a jump-pass touchdown to Drew Sample and scored from a yard out with 6:42 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead, 28-17.
Gaskin’s scored on a 2-yard run with 42 seconds left in the game. The Huskies went for two points but Jake Browning’s pass was intercepted.
“Very frustrating when you start the first half like we started,” Washington head coach Doug Peterson said. “I had no idea why. It’s on me. It’s not these kids. They practiced hard.”
Dwayne Haskins got Ohio State on the board first with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell Jr. Washington’s only score of the first half was a 38-yard field goal by Peyton Henry.
Johnnie Dixon caught a 19-yard touchdown and tight end Rashod Berry hauled in another score in the second quarter to give Ohio State a 21-3 lead heading into halftime.
“We did a great job picking up some blitzes today, and we had to be efficient,” Haskins said. “But right now I’m excited to get this win. Excited to leave Coach with this victory for myself and the rest of the teammates. It’s a blessed situation right now.”
The Huskies’ offense couldn’t stay on the field in the first half as Ohio State forced quick three-and-outs and held Washington to 151 yards in the first half.
Ohio State took a 28-3 lead in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by J.K. Dobbins.
Haskins passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Parris Campbell Jr. finished with 11 receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.
“I have a school that I love dearly,” Meyer said. “I feel very welcome in Buckeye Nation and here and I’m an Ohioan. So my job as we move forward is to make Coach Day, who is an elite coach, make this program even stronger, and that’s all our focus.”
GLENDALE, AZ – With a 25-game win streak on the line, the UCF Golden Knights met a motivated LSU Tigers team on Tuesday afternoon at State Farm Stadium for the 48th annual Fiesta Bowl.
LSU Joel Burrow put together a dominant performance, completing 21 of 34 passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns to just one interception, as the Tigers upset No. 8 UCF 40-32 final score.
UCF head coach Josh Heupel felt that they [UCF] “weren’t good enough to find a way to win the ball game. Love the way they competed for four quarters, continued to fight with everything that they had. Believed. Played as a group, just weren’t good enough at the end.”
The game started out a bit testy, as a depleted and hungry LSU team was looking to avenge their seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M over a month ago and possibly snap the winning streak held by UCF.
Still feeling a bit slighted for not getting to the college football playoff for the second-straight year, things were in store for an epic showdown in the desert
UCF jumped out to an early, 14-3 first quarter lead when Golden Knights defensive back Brandon Moore intercepted an errant pass by Burrow, returning it 93 yards for the score. During the touchdown return, Burrow got leveled on the play in which LSU head coach Ed Orgeron thought should have been a targeting call.
Luckily, Burrow wasn’t down for long and was able to pop back up after the hit. Following the game, the junior quarterback felt “the only reason I didn’t get up in one second, was because I got the wind knocked out of me, and I would have got up immediately if that didn’t happen” as he smirked.
However, the Tigers grit was clearly on display as they came storming back, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a commanding 24-14 led with just over five minutes to play in the half. Burrow’s mentality was to continue to “score touchdowns, complete passes” he said.
When the team needed toughness, they responded. Burrow cited that to the teams’ leadership being founded on exuding toughness, and “it doesn’t start in the season, it starts in the weight room and the off-season”.
UCF would respond, scoring late in the second quarter on a touchdown from Darriel Mack, Jr. to Gabriel Davis to make it 24-21 just before the half.
However, that’s as close as it would get from here on out. The overall physicality and dominance of the SEC clearly on display for all to see.
LSU Rashard Lawrence turned in a dominant performance, finishing the game with five tackles (four for loss) and two sacks. “They [UCF] were a big speed team. They got to the edge a couple of times on us. Earlier in the game they did try to go inside a couple of times and we kind of shut them down” he said, “we got some of the best athletes in the country on our side.”
LSU would hold UCF to just 250 yards of offense, en route to the 40-32 win. Following the victory, LSU improves to 10-3 with plenty of talent returning for next year.
As for UCF, they will look to get back to next season, hopeful to begin another long streak and continuing to build on their success.
“These guys haven’t lost a game since 2016” said UCF senior defensive end Titus Davis, “obviously just looking at where we came from and how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. I mean, this is just one steppingstone, and I feel like next year these guys are going to come back even stronger.”