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Narbonne-Orange Lutheran Face Off In Friday Night Battle

Julian Woodard making moves after a catch in the High School Football San Pedro Pirates vs Narbonne Gauchos on November 17, 2017 at Narbonne High School. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Orange County, CA – There is a split of competition between the Southern and City Sections when it comes to football. Although there is a lot of attention when it comes to those that play in the Trinity League, there are still some top notch school in Los Angeles that have shown their fire power. Narbonne (2-1) is definitely one of them. Year in and year out, the Gauchos have beefed up their schedule to show their worth to prepare for league play, and this season is no different when it comes to stacking up their opponents.

Arguably their toughest schedule of their career, they opened the season with a strong outing over Buchanan from Clovis. When they returned to SoCal, they found Lone Peak from Utah, coming in as defending state champions a season ago. While Narbonne tried to keep up, from all sides the Knights ran over the Gauchos. It then became a learning lesson for quarterback Jake Garcia and company, dismantling up and coming St. Paul

While Narbonne is trying to get back on track, it’s been their defense that has proven their worth. In their two wins this season they have only allowed 26 points, which has been a developing strong suit.

Orange Lutheran (2-1) is in a similar boat. However, the worry is trying to stack their own schedule so that they can be ready for that competitive Trinity League. The Lancers did bounce back after struggling against Corona Centennial with an impressive win over Edison last week. All run with Sophomore quarterback Logan Gonzalez, all he needed was 14 of 26 passing.

Defense is on the horizon for both teams, but this could be the bigger test for the Gauchos, getting ready to face off a Trinity League foe.

With kickoff at 7PM, those that can’t make the game can see the game on the NFHS Network.

 

https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/bn-productions/gamdc07c5a3eb

 

Los Angeles Sparks wait to play in 2019 Playoffs

Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks game Sunday September 08, 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Lovell / fi360 News)
Candace Parker looking to pass during the Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks game Sunday September 08, 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Lovell / fi360 News)

Los Angeles, CA – Derek Fisher the Los Angeles Sparks rookie coach to the WNBA is on course to bring a trophy home. After closing out the regular season with victory over historical top notch team Minnesota Lynx.

The Sparks win their 14th straight at Staples Center to end the regular season with a 22-12 record and locked up the No 3 seed with a first round bye.

The Sparks will host the lowest-seeded first-round winner of the WNBA Playoffs on
Sunday, Sept. 15 at 12 p.m. PST in a second-round single elimination game. With the Seattle Storm defeating Lynx, they will travel to Los Angeles.

The new playoff format being based on records regardless of conference has allowed for some great match-ups. If all things go as planned with No 6 vs No 3 seeds will have the Los Angeles Sparks facing off against the Connecticut Sun in the Semifinals for the right to play in the WNBA Finals 2019.

This season the Sparks have the series led over the Sun 2-1 in their three match-ups during the regular season.

Coach Fisher who has played a very tight rotation this year only bring in the bench as need based on fouls on when a game gets out of hand.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt looking to block a shot during the Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks game Sunday September 08, 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Lovell / fi360 News)

“Each game will kind of dictate different things,” said Fisher.

Now with the single game format, win or go home is real until the reach the Semi’s.

“We know that we want to be at home, which we did our work to be the third best team, but that doesn’t mean anything when the ball is tipped. It’s one game, which means we have to play that much harder,” said Sparks forward Candace Parker, “We have to have a great week of practice and preparation going in.”

Chiney Ogwumike hands up playing defense during the Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks game Sunday September 08, 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Lovell / fi360 News)

This will be an exciting time to be a Los Angeles Sparks fan as this team goes after it’s Fourth Championship Trophy.

 

Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 2

(Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

                        Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 2

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) throws the ball during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

OFFENSE: Kedon Slovis, Fr., QB, USC (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
• True freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis made his first career start and led USC to a 45-20 win over No. 23 Stanford by completing 84.8% of his passes (28-of-33) for 377 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions.
• It was the most yardage and completions and highest completion percentage by a USC true freshman quarterback in his debut.
• He became just the fifth USC true freshman to start a game at QB (joining JT Daniels, Matt Barkley, Carson Palmer and Rob Johnson).
• His yardage was the most by any Trojan since Sam Darnold’s 397 in 2017 vs. Texas and the second most by any Trojan true freshman in any game (behind Barkley’s 380 at Notre Dame in 2009).

Also nominated: Justin Herbert, ORE; Anthony Gordon, WSU; K.D. Nixon, COLO; Jermar Jefferson, OSU; Connor Wedington, STAN; Gary Brightwell, ARIZ; Marcel Dancy, CAL; Tyler Huntley, UTAH.

DEFENSE: Evan Weaver, Sr., ILB, California (Spokane, Wash.)
• Named Walter Camp and College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week.
• One of seven nominees for Lott IMPACT Trophy National Player of the Week honors.
• Equaled a career-high with 18 tackles that included a career-high 14 solo stops while adding 2.0 tackles for loss (-5 yards) and his first career forced fumble to lift Cal to a 20-19 upset victory at No. 14/12 Washington.
• Gave Cal back-to-back victories over the Huskies for the first time since winning five straight from 2002-06
• Moved into 10th place on Cal’s all-time tackle list with 260.
• Tied for first in the nation in solo tackles (20, 10.0 per game) and second in total tackles (30, 15.0 per game).
• Weaver is currently on the Bednarik Award Watch List. The honor is presented annually to the college defensive player of the year.

Also nominated: Bradlee Anae, UTAH; Nate Landman, COLO; D.J. Davidson, ASU; Greg Johnson, USC; Travion Brown, WSU; Casey Toohill, STAN; Avery Roberts, OSU.

Cristian Zendejas kicking during the Kent State vs Arizona State game in Tempe, AZ on August 29, 2019. Photo by John Hays / fi360 News

SPECIAL TEAMS: Cristian Zendejas, R-So., K, Arizona State (Chandler, Ariz.)
• Filling in for junior Brandon Ruiz for the second straight week, Cristian Zendejas provided all of ASU’s points for the first three-plus quarters of its 19-7 win over Sacramento State, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts (36, 26, 35, 26).
• Was also successful on lone PAT attempt.
• Zendejas became the first Sun Devil kicker since 2016 to make four field goals in a game.
• The four field goals are tied for sixth in ASU’s single-game annals.

Also nominated: Greg Thomas, CAL; Alex Kinney, COLO; Ben Lennon, UTAH; Austin Jackson, USC; Daniel Rodriguez, OSU.

USC Austin Jackson coming out to practice from the locker room. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

OFFENSIVE LINE: Austin Jackson, USC, Jr., OT, USC (Phoenix, Ariz.)
• In USC’s 45-20 win over No. 23 Stanford, Jackson anchored an offensive line effort that allowed true freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis, making his first career start, to pass for 377 yards with only 1 sack.
• The Trojans also rushed for 115 yards. Jackson had a key seal block to spring tailback Stephen Carr for a 25-yard touchdown around the left side late in the first half to start USC’s 35-point run to finish the game.
• Jackson also blocked a third quarter field goal (the second of his career) that would have brought Stanford within a point of tying the Trojans.
• Earlier in the day, Jackson was profiled on ESPN GameDay as a bone marrow donor this summer for his sister, who suffers from Diamond-Blackfin anemia, a rare blood disorder that leads to severe anemia.

Also nominated: Jake Hanson, ORE; Jake Curhan, CAL; Josh McCauley, ARIZ; Arlington Hambright, COLO; Blake Brandel, OSU; Darrin Paulo, UTAH; Abe Lucas, WSU.

Mustafa Johnson (34) in pursuit during the Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

DEFENSIVE LINE: Mustafa Johnson, Jr., DE, Colorado (Turlock, Calif.)
• In CU’s 34-31 overtime win, he was in on 8 tackles (7 solo), which included three quarterback sacks for 21 yards in losses.
• He had two third down stops (both sacks), a forced fumble that caused a turnover and a QB pressure.
• His third sack came in overtime that forced Nebraska’s field goal attempt to tie the game be from 48 yards (instead of 41).
• Johnson is currently on the Bednarik Award Watch List. The honor is presented annually to the college defensive player of the year.

Also nominated: Bradlee Anae, UTAH; Luc Bequette, CAL; Jay Tufele, USC; D.J. Davidson, ASU; DJ Johnson, ORE.

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) being interview after a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

FRESHMAN: Kedon Slovis, Fr., QB, USC (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
• True freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis made his first career start and led USC to a 45-20 win over No. 23 Stanford by completing 84.8% of his passes (28-of-33) for 377 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions.
• It was the most yardage and completions and highest completion percentage by a USC true freshman quarterback in his debut.
• He became just the fifth USC true freshman to start a game at QB (joining JT Daniels, Matt Barkley, Carson Palmer and Rob Johnson).
• His yardage was the most by any Trojan since Sam Darnold’s 397 in 2017 vs. Texas and the second most by any Trojan true freshman in any game (behind Barkley’s 380 at Notre Dame in 2009).

Also nominated: Mase Funa, ORE; Jaren Mangham, COLO; Jayden Daniels, ASU; Kyu Blue Kelly, STAN; Ben Lennon, UTAH, Grant Grunnell, ARIZ; Travion Brown, WSU.

Freshman quarterback leads USC to victory in conference opener

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) throws the ball during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360
Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans running back Vavae Malepeai (29) after a touchdown during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

Los Angeles, CA – Being starting quarterback at USC carries a lot of weight, full of expectations, with a spotlight on your play. True freshman Kedon Slovis wasn’t fazed by the big stage, playing fast, poised and aggressive in the conference opener.

 

Slovis set a school record for passing yards in a freshman’s debut, finishing 28-of-33 for 377 yards and three touchdowns. The Arizona native helped the Trojans erase an early 14-point deficit to come back and defeat Stanford, 45-20, Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

“I thought it was pretty good,” Slovis said on his performance. “But at the same time, how good is it with these guys? It doesn’t show how well I did but how good a team we have.”

 

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans running back Vavae Malepeai (29) runs the ball for a gain during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

USC trailed 17-3 in the second quarter when Slovis threw his first career touchdown, a 39-yard reception to Amon-Ra St. Brown in double coverage. Stephen Carr added a 25-yard touchdown run and Slovis connected with St. Brown on another score for a 24-20 lead with 31 seconds left before halftime.”

 

“We knew his talent and we understood the type of players our quarterbacks are,” USC head coach Clay Helton said. “Graham (Harrell) is kind of loose and lets the kids have fun and play fast and play aggressive. Even though he’s young, we named him the No. 2 for a reason. Let’s go cut him loose. That’s not hard for Graham because he’s always ready to cut it loose. It was fun for me to watch.”

 

Stanford scored on its first four drives of the game but did not score again the rest of the game as USC outscored them 42-3. The defense pitched a shutout in the second half and held Stanford to 98 total rushing yards.

 

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans wide receiver Tyler Vaughns (21) catches the ball during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

“Defensively, we were bend-but-don’t-break,” Helton said. “I though third downs were the key. I think they were 0-for in third downs in the first half and did a nice job in the second half to allow us to separate from a good Stanford team.”

 

Slovis led four touchdown drives and completed 84.3 percent of his passes while throwing completions to eight different receivers. During the second and third quarters he completed 12 consecutive passes.

 

“We all knew Kedon was a great quarterback and then saw him in the spring and he looked great,” St. Brown said. “He wasn’t a highly touted recruit coming out of high school so we didn’t know much about him. But after the first day we saw he could sling the ball.”

 

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: Stanford Cardinal tight end Colby Parkinson (84) catches the ball for a gain during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

USC running back Vavae Malepeai scored two touchdowns in the second half and Tyler Vaughns added a 16-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Vaughns finished with five receptions for 106 yards while St. Brown added eight receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles, CA September 7, 2019: USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton and Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw meet in the middle of the field after a college football game between the Stanford Cardinals and The USC Trojans on September 07, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360

The Trojans hit the road for the first time this season as they travel to Utah next Saturday for matchup against BYU.

Overtime win for Colorado Buffaloes in rivalry game

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Boulder, CU – Despite Folsom Field being engulfed by a sea of red, Colorado pulled off a close win in overtime against 25 Nebraska.

 

The game had classic rivalry written all over it with this being the first sold-out game for Colorado since the Pac-12 South title win against Utah on November 26, 2016.

 

Colorado trailed in the first half, 17-0 and failed to gain any leverage on all sides of the ball. According to players and coaches, half-time adjustments were made to counteract against Nebraska’s dominant performance.

 

“There’s no such thing as a safe lead in college football,” said head coach Mel Tucker, “we talked to our players at half-time. They gave us their best shot. Whatever is the best they can do we saw it in the first half.”

 

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Players and Tucker alike also credited the conditioning of CU as a reason for why they stayed in the game.

 

Nebraska held a 10-point lead into the 4th quarter, 17-7, but Colorado decreased the lead with a 96-yard pass off a flea-flicker from quarterback Steven Montez to receiver K.D. Nixon.

 

“He led us,” said Tucker when talking about Montez, “I saw him do what good players do.”

 

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Overall Montez threw for 375 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

 

Nebraska’s quarterback Adrian Montez responded to Colorado with a 75-yard touchdown to running back Maurice Washington.

 

Both teams lit up the scoreboard during the 4th quarter as regulation ended 31-31.

 

A missed field goal by Nebraska sealed the deal for the Buffs after Colorado scored three points on their opening overtime drive.

 

The fans rushed the field and players almost immediately as emotions were high.

 

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes game on September 7, 2019 at Folsom Field. (photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Montez believes that this game will be a “life-long memory,” that he won’t forget.

 

Colorado plays at home at Folsom Field against Air Force next week in another Colorado rivalry. Both teams are 2-0.

Oregon bounces back, routing Nevada

Nevada Wolfpack vs Oregon Duck game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)
Oregon receiver Bryan Addison celebrates during the Nevada Wolfpack vs Oregon Duck game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

EUGENE, OR –Rebounding from last week’s heartbreaking loss, the Oregon Ducks defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 77-6, tying a record for most points ever scored in Autzen Stadium. Oregon also extended their streak of consecutive wins over non conference opponents at home to 24.

 

Senior quarterback Justin Herbert brought his name back into Heisman conversations Saturday, after he threw for 310 yards, 5 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Oregon dominated in every aspect of the game, scoring 11 touchdowns by 11 different players. Herbert stated,“After a tough loss last week we came together and got after it”.

When the game got out of hand, Oregon was also able to show off their depth, most notably at the quarterback position with Tyler Shough. Shough was 8/9, throwing for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns, ending with a quarterback rating 11.4 points higher than Herbert at 248.1.

 

Nevada Wolfpack vs Oregon Duck game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

Speaking about Shough’s valuable minutes, head coach Mario Cristobal stated “He’s a really good football player.He’s proved it in spring, he proved it during fall camp, and we wanted him in there during meaningful time… and we wanted to make sure he got reps with our ones. He did a great job tonight”.

 

While the scoreboard may only tell the story of Oregon’s success offensively, their defense was equally responsible for their success. As Cristobal put it after the game, “they were the determining factor in the swing in momentum”. Nevada looked ready to take an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, after a fumbled punt return handed the ball back to Nevada deep inside Oregon’s territory. The mistake eventually led to Nevada sitting at 1st and goal on Oregon’s 4-yard line, but the defense stood strong, holding the Wolf Pack only to a field goal.

 

Nevada Wolfpack vs Oregon Duck game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

After another impressive outing, defensive coordinator Andy Avalos is quickly proving that his defense is amongst the best in the country. The Ducks had another unbelievable showing on that side of the ball, keeping Nevada to only 6 total points, and 192 yards of total offense.

 

On the night, Avalos’s defense recorded 13 tackles for losses, 5 sacks, and forced 4 turnovers,one of which resulted in a touchdown from safety Brady Breeze on a scoop and score fumble recovery in the third quarter.

 

Nevada Wolfpack vs Oregon Duck game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

Oregon will look to string together another complete game when they host the Montana Grizzlies in Eugene next Saturday, September 14th.

SMU Defeats North Texas in Home Opener

North Texas Green Machine vs SMU Mustangs game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Ari Talton / fi360 News)
North Texas Green Machine vs SMU Mustangs game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Ari Talton / fi360 News)

Dallas, TX – In front of a loud and rowdy crowd of both Eagle and Mustang fans, North Texas and Southern Methodist engaged in back and forth battle for four full quarters. SMU would go on to finish with an impressive 49-27 victory Saturday night.

 

Quarterback Shane Buechele and the SMU offense proved to be too much for the UNT defense minutes into the first quarter, scoring on their first possession. Buechele completed 21 of 31 passes for 292 yards and had three touchdowns. He led the Mustangs in a 9-play, 75-yard opening touchdown drive, completing all five of his pass attempts.

 

North Texas Green Machine vs SMU Mustangs game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Ari Talton / fi360 News)

The SMU defense appeared poised to maintain the energy of Ford Stadium. A quick three and out would send the North Texas offense to the sideline on their first possession, resulting in a quick 83-yard, nine play drive and touchdown run by Xavier Jones.

 

The first quarter concluded with SMU in the driver’s seat with a score of 21-0.

 

If North Texas was rattled, the team masked it well. Quarterback Mason Fine and the Eagles’ offense returned to the field in the second quarter and scored two touchdowns. They were led by their only real threat to SMU – star running back Tre Siggers, who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

 

North Texas Green Machine vs SMU Mustangs game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Ari Talton / fi360 News)

At the half, SMU led North Texas 28-14.

 

Still the North Texas defense could not contain the SMU offense. Jones rushed 16 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. James Proche was on the receiving end of seven Buechele passes, totaling 115 yards. He caught one of Buechele’s three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr., caught six passes for 94 yards and was the recipient of Buechele’s other two scoring passes.

 

Ford Stadium was split fairly evenly with both SMU and North Texas fans. The Mustang fans, however, stayed the entire game and appeared to enjoy the thriving SMU team – definitely a welcomed sight for Coach Sonny Dykes.

 

North Texas Green Machine vs SMU Mustangs game on September 7, 2019. (photo by Ari Talton / fi360 News)

“We’re in Dallas, and it’s important to get everyone involved in SMU football,” Dykes said.

 

SMU begins the season 2-0 and is set to face Texas State University at home next Saturday. UNT falls to 1-1 after the loss and will play at California next week.

UCLA falls flat in loss to SDSU; Aztecs earn first-ever win at the Rose Bowl

NCAA Football 2019 UCLA Bruins wide receiver Demetric Felton #10 taken down during the San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)
NCAA Football 2019 Aztecs quarterback Ryan Agnew breaks the pocket San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)

Pasadena, CA – It was tight at halftime with San Diego State University’s football team (2-0) leading the UCLA Bruins (0-2) 10-7.

The Bruins had deferred to open the game and were poised to receive the ball in the third quarter and right the ship.
Just when the energy was high, the protection broke down and Bruins’ quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (24-35 for 199 and a TD) was sacked, resulting in a fumble and recovery by the Aztec defense.
NCAA Football 2019 UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 breaks free during the San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)

“We had some people open,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “We just gotta protect him better, he took too many hits today.”

San Diego State’s Ryan Agnew (23-31 for 293 and a TD) would cash in on the turnover with a 34-yard TD strike to Kobe Smith to take a 17-7 lead.
Agnew and the Aztecs would stave off the ensuing comeback hopes of the Bruins and finish the game 23-14 for their first-ever win at the Rose Bowl.
NCAA Football 2019 San Diego State Aztecs running back Juwan Washington #29 breaks free during the San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)

“Obviously I still need to improve on some things,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Like the fumbles, we can’t have that. We have to execute better.”

The Aztecs remain undefeated for the season, but the Bruins fall to 0-2 and the voices of complaint and boos from the fans in attendance were heard loud and clear.
On the bright side, the Bruins were able to get their running game going in the right direction with the return of Joshua Kelley (15 carries for 53 yards and a TD).
NCAA Football 2019 San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)

Kelley now has a touchdown run in all nine games he has played in for UCLA.

Kelly isn’t concerned with his team righting the ship and he’s not too worried about the boos, but he is focused on getting ready for a tough Oklahoma team next Saturday and has “confidence” that his team will fix the problems.
NCAA Football 2019 San Diego State Aztecs vs UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on September 7, 2019 (Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image360)

“There are plays to be made that I don’t think we made,” Kelly said. “We have to make the proper corrections when we look at the film.”

ASU Sun Devils slides past Sacramento State for a win

ASU QB Jayden Daniels (5) slides to avoid the contact on September 6, 2019 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, AZ. (Photo by Eric Townsend)
Sacramento State receiver (84) is surrounded by ASU’s defense on September 6, 2019 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, AZ. (Photo by Eric Townsend)

TEMPE, AZ – It was a sluggish game by the Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0), but sometimes how you do it doesn’t really matter, as they ultimately still came away victorious in a 19-7 win over Sacramento State.

It probably wasn’t how ASU coach Herm Edwards drew it up this week, but nonetheless it was “a win, and we’ll look at it that way, but we got a lot of work to do,” he said following his teams’ narrow victory over Sacramento State.
Were they overlooking the Hornets? Perhaps, but Edwards certainly seemed to drive that message this week. “There’s always that message,” he said. “Just understanding who your opponent is.”
ASU safety Aashari Crosswell (16) watches the big screen after a penalty on September 6, 2019 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, AZ. (Photo by Eric Townsend)

Nonetheless, from the start things looked a bit off, as the Sun Devils couldn’t really find a rhythm offensively. It was ultimately the offensive line that struggled in helping the Sun Devils find the end zone, however, if you ask freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, he felt he shoulders a lot of the responsibility in the offenses ineptitude.

“We had some missed assignments, but it’s not solely their fault,” he said, “I got to get the ball out faster, I missed a couple easy throws… I just got to be better, and I got to be better on third down.”
ASU lines up for a kick to make it 6-0 in the third quarter on September 6, 2019 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, AZ. (Photo by Eric Townsend)

In a game where the Sun Devils scored just 19 points, the team converted on just five of 17 third-down attempts, but the more important stat was four-for-four, as in four converted field goals from kicker Christian Zendejas.

As noted, the game started out slow as the Hornets and the Sun Devils were tied 0-0 after the first quarter, as well as much of the first half!
We didn’t get our first score in the game until 1:57 left in the half, when ASU finally converted on a 36-yard field goal from Zendejas to make it 3–0.
Looking to hopefully regroup and gain some momentum, unfortunately the offensive woes continued in the second half, especially in the red zone for the Sun Devil’s.
ASU’s Eno Benjamin makes a move in the open field on September 6, 2019 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, AZ. (Photo by Eric Townsend)

ASU would have two, drives stall in the Sacramento State territory in the third quarter, instead settling for field goals both times. Luckily, the Sun Devils would be able to convert both times, but not to the satisfaction of the fans in attendance however, as the team began to garner some boos.

For coach Edwards, it wasn’t surprising. “I get it,” he said. “That’s why fans come, they cheer and they boo. You’re not playing well, they boo. That’s not unusual… fans are passionate, they’re emotional, they wanna see offense. But at the end they were all clapping.”
ASU would extend their lead again early in the fourth quarter, making yet another field goal, going up 12-0. However, Sacramento State wouldn’t go away, marching down the field on an impressive, seven-play, 72-yard drive rage ended in a touchdown to make it 12-7 with 6:20 to play.
The very next series for ASU would put this thing away for good, when the Sun Devils would finally find the end zone on a three-play 75-yard drive that was punctuated by a 72-yard touchdown reception from running back, Eno Benjamin. Benjamin would find a nice seem in the defense, and scamper down the field, finding the end zone to eventually make it 19-7.
With the win, ASU improves 2-0 on the season, with Michigan State looming. As for Edwards, he’s just happy to get the win, and more importantly that his freshman quarterback is 2-0.
As for Sacramento State (1-1), they will return home to battle Northern Colorado.

Los Angeles Sparks clinch three seed, Playoff mindset close to ready

Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike #13 during the Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center. (Photo by Jevone Moore)
Los Angeles Sparks guard Chelsea Gray #12 going to the basket during the Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Los Angeles, CA – Minutes before tipoff in Los Angeles, the Atlanta Dream, who own the worst record in the WNBA, did the unthinkable: they defeated Las Vegas, who is fighting for a number three seed along with Los Angeles. One would wonder if the Sparks did a little scoreboard watching right before they were set to battle against Seattle. A win would all but secure the number three seed, and very well likely avoid playing Washington until the Finals if they get that far.  That seemed to be more than enough juice for yet another dominant performance in a 102-68 win guarantees them the three seed for the playoffs.

“We knew the final score once we stepped on the court,” Sydney Weise said. “But we knew that nothing would matter if we didn’t get the job done tonight. Once we stepped on the court we knew that it was back to business with everything on the back of our minds.”

Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams #2 with the finger role during the Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Seattle also needed a win to stick around for a five or six seed that would guarantee them a home game for the first round. However, it seemed like they couldn’t keep up with a full Sparks lineup that had Nneka Ogwumike back. Leading by six after the first, it was one score after another from just about everyone. Starting with Maria Vadeeva who drilled back to back buckets, her shots ignited a number of fast break opportunities that put the Sparks up by double digits by halftime. The onslaught continued in the second half as the lead got bigger as the minutes ticked down.

Even with Candace Parker leading the way in scoring with 20 points, nobody noticed since five players reached double figures. Combined with 55 percent shooting and 26 assists, the Sparks are more and more proving that they are a very dangerous team when playing at home now with a 14-2 record with one more home game to go.

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker #3 splits the defense during the Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“We are a dangerous team when we are all together,” Wiese said. “Tonight goes to show the adversity we showed on the court when we are a complete team, and this is what we need to show when we are in the playoffs.”

Minnesota comes to town Sunday to close out the season, but it now becomes a matter of how to strategize for next week. With Nneka sidelined Tuesday due to fatigue, rest could be on the minds of the Sparks as they prepare for the postseason. Either way, a win in the second round could very well mean a pick-your poison, facing either Connecticut or Washington with a combined 27-4 home record. The Sun have a far worse road record at 8-8, but with the Sparks finishing below .500 away from Staples Center, they seem to be OK with having their first playoff game where they play best.

Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike #13 pulls up in the paint during the Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“The playoffs are a different feel no doubt,” Parker said. “Individually we have done a lot of things that have certainly got us here. It is unfortunate that we aren’t the top two seeds, but none of that matters if we don’t fix things that put us in the loss column knowing that one game could be it for us, or for anyone.”

 

 

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