Carson, CA – Beating the DC Defenders gave Los Angeles a bit
of hope in the XFL. Knowing that the top two teams in each conference make the
playoffs, it helps a bit that there is one dominant team in the conference
(Houston Roughnecks). Some of that momentum was lost after struggling to find
any rhythm against New York, trailing early and not being able to find any
footing on offense. Tampa Bay, starting the season 0-3, shut out the DC
Defenders, forcing their downward spiral to continue.
At first, it all seemed like the Vipers would force a spiral
to the Wildcats after going up 24-6 with a turnover brigade. Throughout the
first 15 minutes or so, Tampa Bay looked like they were having all the fun with
getting into the endzone on their first three of four possessions, capped off
by 15 points off of turnovers. The Wildcats in the mean time managed their own
game plan hoisting an unexpected comeback that gave Los Angeles a much needed 41-34
win, putting them back in the talks being relevant in the Western
“We don’t want to put ourselves in a game like this again,”
Tre McBride said. “With that being said, a win is a win, and our goal every
week is to put up as many points as possible. We did that tonight, but this
tells us as a team we need to do more.”
It was beyond an ugly start for the Wildcats. In their first
five possessions, the Wildcats had a very hard time holding onto the ball in
all aspects. From an interception on the first play to bad shotgun snaps and
muffed punts, the Wildcats looked as if they were ready to hand the game to
Josh Johnson though found more than just his receivers and
footing. He played practically throughout the rest of the game like a
professional, evading sacks and reading just about all of his passes. They
closed the first half with 16 unanswered points with touchdown strikes to
De’Quan Hampton and Brandon Barnes. Heading into the half down by just four, their
defense bailed them out with key stops and a forced turnover. With the Wildcats
then scoring on two more possessions from the arm of Johnson, the LA faithful
looked as if they were behind this team.
With the way Johnson’s game started out, he finished with
everything going his way. He ended the night going 20-for-34 with four
touchdowns, all of which was done in the 27-0 run.
“Josh is playing great,” Tre McBride said. “He has never
lost confidence in his receivers and it showed in a game like this today. It is
important to have that core be dedicated like the way we played today.”
“All in all, we just stuck to the game plan.” Johnson said.
“We felt like last week we lost our guidance and missed out on passing tests.
This week it was about how we could respond as a team, and to that we responded
Tampa Bay only managed 233 yards after leading big early,
with more than two thirds of those yards only surmounting three points and a
game ending interception in the endzone.
“We all feed off of each other,” “Our defense did their part
to feed the momentum offensively. They did their job, so we ended up doing our
job as well to our advantage.”
Los Angeles has put themselves back in relevance, but a
crowd of just over 12,000 on a Sunday night raised a bit of concern. While
there are no rumors of any type of relocation, they currently hold two of the
three lowest attended games this season. This week was also a part of the
lowest attended games from the first five weeks, which could put Los Angeles in
the conversation of finding out if Carson is the right place for the XFL.
Still, wins are important when building a franchise and to
be recognized. The Wildcats arguably earned one of the more impressive ones in
the young season by any team. With Seattle next week, they can put a team
behind them and chase after the second seed where Dallas lies.
LOS ANGELES – Jonah Mathews closes the regular season with a
record-breaking performance in the USC Trojans’ 54-52 victory over the UCLA
Bruin’s Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center, ending their cross-town rival’s
seven-game winning streak.
Mathews entered the game needing to make four threes to
break Elijah Stewart’s Trojan record of 245 three pointers. Mathews made a
season-high five three pointers to set a new Trojan record at 247. But none was
more important than the game-winning three he made with one second left on the
UCLA’s Cody Riley, who scored a Bruin-leading 13 points,
made two free throws to give Bruins a 52-51 lead with 9 seconds left. The
Trojans called a timeout in between to try to ice Riley, to no avail but to
also set up the final play.
“We set a high ball screen, “ said USC head coach Andy
Enfield. “Jonah can take on the big and go to work. It was his call to drive or
step back. You put the ball in your best playmaker’s hands.”
The ending was a moment of redemption for Mathews. With 1:41
on the clock and Trojans leading 51-48, Mathews missed a pair of free throws
that could have given his team more cushion and pressure on the Bruins in the
“Coach told me before the free throw even happened, he was
putting the ball in my hands and we’re going to live or die,” Mathews said. “So
I was like ‘We’re going to live today!’ We’re going to live and celebrate.”
The moment was particularly special considering it was
against the Trojans’ rivals.
“That was a dagger in their heart,” said Mathews.“It’ll
stick with them forever like this will stick with me forever… I actually
dreamed it last night. I said, ‘What if I end it like that, what if I break the
Onyeka Okongwu, who scored 16 points for the Trojans grabbed
a huge offensive rebound with two Bruins draped all over his back. He then
passed to Mathews at the top of the three-point arc who then made a three to
put USC up 43-38. It was Mathews’ fourth of the game and the record breaking
246th of his career.
It was a close game for all 40 minutes, with the largest
lead either team held at five points. And another of the grind-it-out variety
for the Trojans, who once again kept an opponent to under 40 percent shooting;
they improve to 16-3 when doing so.
With the win, the Trojans finish tied for third place in the
Pac-12 Conference and secures a bye for the first round of the conference
tournament, to be played later this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dallas, TX – While the home crowd eagerly awaited a Zion Williamson
sighting, it was the presence of New Orleans players Brandon Ingram and Lonzo
Ball that made Wednesday evening’s 127-123 Dallas victory especially
Ingram scored 27 points. Ball
added 25 points, making seven three point baskets. Williamson contributed 21
points for the Pelicans.
Dallas starter Dorian
Finney-Smith left the game in the first half with an apparent hip injury,
leaving the Mavericks without one of their better defenders and his constant contribution
of second-chance points.
Kristaps Porzingis led all
scorers with 34 points. The big man also added 12 rebounds and blocked five
shots. Luka Doncic totaled 30 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists Wednesday
night, earning his 14th triple-double of the season. Doncic passed
Dallas legend Jason Kidd Wednesday night by earning his 22nd triple
double – he now has more triple doubles than any player in Mavericks’ history.
With a balanced offensive attack from
both teams and a hectic final quarter, the night’s matchup proved entertaining
for the Dallas crowd. Nicolo Melli scored his first basket of the night for the
Pelicans with just seconds remaining on the clock, inevitably sending the game
into overtime with a 112-112 tie.
Overtime was all about the
collaboration of Doncic and Porzingis. The two now appear more in sync than
ever before this season. The Mavericks simply did a lot of things right in
overtime and outlasted the Pelicans.
“I’ve been just playing my game,”
Porzingis shared postgame. “It took me a little bit of time to figure out my
spots and when to be aggressive.”
LOS ANGELES – Jonah Mathews and Daniel Utomi carried the
torch, leading four Trojans scoring double figures in a 71-61 USC victory over
the Arizona State Sun Devils Saturday night at the Galen Center. It was the
second consecutive win over an NCAA-Tournament bound team, completing a home
sweep over the Arizona schools.
Mathews scored a game-high 23 points. Utomi scored 19 and
added 11 rebounds. Nick Rakocevic, seemingly recovered from a virus that caused
him to lose 16 pounds in two days, also had a double double of 13 points and 11
rebounds. Big O, who fouled out of this game, chipped in with 10 points.
These teams met three weeks prior to this contest in Tempe,
Arizona. The Sun Devils forced the
Trojans to commit 24 turnovers that day, which was the most by an ASU opponent
since 2002, en route to a 66-64 victory for the Sun Devils.
Now as visitors, the Devils tried to use the same recipe but
lacked a little bit of sauce. Meaning they did the same thing as before but
couldn’t get any buckets. The Trojans showed up on defense again, as they held
the Sun Devils to below 33 percent shooting.
White opened the game scoring for Sun Devils. But
the 2-0 lead would be the last and only time they were ahead on the
Mathews evened the game with a pull up jump shot, followed by an Utomi
three, and another Utomi three, then Utomi made a three again. Before
they knew it,
the Devils trailed by 10 by the first TV timeout at the 15:48 mark.
“He’s definitely the X-factor on the team,” said Mathews
about Utomi. “When he plays well, we’re
for sure playing good. He came out hot with four threes. He played well and had
a double double tonight. So it wasn’t just shooting, he rebounded. He was
Coach Andy Enfield couldn’t have liked the 14 turnovers by
USC in the first half. Trojans shoot 59% from the field, Arizona State made
only 35% but it was only a 41-36 game at halftime. Sun Devils strategy of
applying pressure after every made basket and whenever the Trojans inbounded
the ball worked well enough to keep them in the game.
“They have to go make plays,” said Enfield. “You have to be
tough with the ball and run through your catch. You have to go perform and we
finally did that in the second half. We limited our turnovers in the second
half and played much better.”
The Trojans came out of the break looking to put the
visitors away early as their lead was increased to 12 points over the first
eight minutes of the closing half. However, the Devils showed resiliency and
went on an 11-0 blitz during the next four minutes. That’s when Mathews stepped
in and grabbed the Devils by their horns.
“We knew they were gone come back with a punch,” said
Mathews. “At that point, I just wanted to solidify the win. My teammates found
me. I had to make plays, as a senior. Coach put the ball in my hands so I had
Mathews responded to the run with a traditional three-point
play as he got fouled making a layup. The next time down the floor he made a
three pointer, giving his team a seven-point lead. After the Sun Devils’ Remy
Martin, who led his team with 22 points, made a layup, Mathews answered with
one of his own, making it a 62-55 score and put the game away for the Trojans.
USC is now 21-9 on the season and face cross-town rivals
UCLA next Saturday at the Galen Center. UCLA defeated the Arizona Wildcats
69-64 Saturday after beating these same Sun Devils on Thursday. This means both
LA schools had a home sweep the Arizona schools in Pac-12 play this week.
LOS ANGELES – Dealing with injuries, grief, and a virus, the
USC Trojans fight on in a huge 57-48 victory over Pac-12 foes Arizona Wildcats
Thursday night at the Galen Center.
Playing for their NCAA tournament lives, Andy Enfield’s team
had to call on its defense to pull out the win.
The Wildcats were held to 28 percent shooting from the field. The 48
points by Arizona is their lowest scoring output of the season.
“We tried to challenge everything,” said coach Enfield. “Coach
Hart had a great game plan. We came up with some different ideas and we just executed
defensively as best as we could and challenged to try to make it tough for everything
“I thought we did a really good job of taking their inside
away and we challenged every three. To hold their guards to 5-of-32 is just a
credit to our players.
According to many bracket prognostications, the Trojans were
sitting on the 12 seed line and slated for a play-in game entering Thursday’s
contest. Knowing his team was inside the NCAA tournament bubble, senior guard
Jonah Matthews led the Trojans in scoring with 14 points while playing with a
do or die attitude.
“It’s do or die, I don’t have another year,” said Mathews. “Every
rebound, every shot, everything matters. It’s crunch time before March Madness.”
Mathews, like most players in this game, got off to a slow
start, which coach Enfield attributed to a virus some members of the team was
afflicted with on its Rocky Mountain trip last week but had to play through it
as his team needed him.
“They take teams that win, said Mathews. “If we win, we’re in. We can’t afford to drop
any game… We have fight in us. No one feels sorry for us. This team is resilient
Onyeka “Big O” Okongwu had his 11th double double
of year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. In an ugly first half, Big O was the
one bright spot as he heaved a three quarters court shot as the buzzer sounded
and set off a loud cheer from the crowd. It was his first made three pointer of
his collegiate career.
“I just saw that Nico [Wildcat guard Nico Mannion] missed
the shot,” said Okongwu. “I always work on the shot after practice so I just
took a chance. Got fouled but no call and it still went in anyways.”
That shot turned out to be huge because it gave the Trojans
their largest lead of the game, to that point at 26-21, which they never
relinquished. Arizona jumped out to a fast 9-2 lead in the contest but both
teams threw up bricks in a back and forth first half. Okongwu led the Trojans
with seven rebounds in the first half to go along with five points.
The Trojans featured balanced scoring with the six players
in the rotation who played significant minutes all scoring at least seven
points. A very ill Nick Rakocevic only logged 11 minutes.
The Trojans improve to 20-9 on the season, 16-1 when holding
opponents under 70 points, and 3-0 holding foes under 49 points. Their next game will be in the Galen Center
against Arizona State on Saturday, then they close the season the following
Saturday as they host the rival Bruins.
Karl Dorrell, who has two previous “tours of duty” on the University of Colorado football staff, has been named the 27th full-time
head football coach for the Buffaloes, athletic director Rick George announced Sunday.
has proposed that CU’s Board of Regents approve a five-year deal for
Dorrell worth $18 million, in which the first-year salary would
be $3.2 million and then increase by $200,000 annually, not including
additional compensation for any of several incentives in the contract
that are met. He is also proposing a salary pool of $3.8 million for
the assistant coaches, which is an increase from
$3.155 million for the previous staff. The Regents must approve
Dorrell’s contract, which campus leaders will present for their
consideration at a meeting in the near future.
excited to be back, it’s like coming home,” Dorrell said. “The thing
that excited me about this job is that my experience in the past
here for the most part has been very successful. We had a lot of good
teams, went to a lot of good bowl games. It’s a top caliber program
that has a lot of potential, and I’m excited to return it to that
56, replaces Mel Tucker, who resigned on February 11 when he accepted
an offer to become the new head coach at Michigan State. He
was named CU’s head coach on Dec. 5, 2018, and coached the Buffaloes
just one year, as Colorado posted a 5-7 record for the 2019 season.
Tucker was hired after a 16-day search; the process to hire Dorrell
actually took less time – 12 days.
Dorrell returns to Colorado from the National Football League’s Miami
Dolphins, where he was the receivers coach for the 2019 season; he had
just been promoted to assistant head coach last Thursday (Feb. 20) by
head coach Brian Flores.
am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football
coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach,
both as a
head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and
West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and
Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares
my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning
championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our
student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program
was actually coaching his second time as a member of the Dolphins
staff, as he returned as the team’s wide receivers coach a little
over a year ago, on Feb. 8, 2019. He previously
served as the receivers coach from 2008-10 and was the quarterbacks
coach in 2011, all four years under the late head coach at the time,
Tony Sparano (he passed
away in July 2018).
Bill McCartney hired him at Colorado as his receivers coach on Feb. 20,
1992, Dorrell’s first full-time job on the Division I-A (now FBS)
In his first year on the staff, two of his players, Charles Johnson and
Michael Westbrook, became just the fourth pair of receivers on the same
team at the time to each have over 1,000 receiving yards in NCAA
history; the first two do so at Colorado, Johnson
caught 57 passes for 1,149 yards and five touchdowns, while Westbrook
pulled in 76 receptions for 1,060 yards and eight scores. Westbrook
earned first-team All-America honors for that season, becoming just the
third Buffalo wide receiver to do so, joining
Cliff Branch (1971) and Dave Logan (1975). Johnson added another
1,000-yard season in 1993, again hauling in 57 balls for 1,082 yards and
nine TDs, earning second-team All-American accolades, with Westbrook
repeating as a first-team his senior year in 1994.
The Buffs were 17-5-2 those two seasons, which included a win over Fresno State in the ’93 Aloha Bowl.
leaving for the 1994 season to coach the receivers at Arizona State
under coach Bruce Snyder, he would return to Boulder in 1995 as
a member of Rick Neuheisel’s staff, reuniting with his quarterback from
their playing days at UCLA. Neuheisel, on McCartney’s final staff in
’94, replaced the legendary McCartney as CU’s head coach and brought
back Dorrell to be CU’s offensive coordinator
and receivers coach on Jan. 12, 1995. He would add coaching the
quarterbacks in 1998, the last season on the CU staff. CU’s offense
under Dorrell’s direction proved electric, as the ’95 Buffaloes were
eighth in the nation in scoring (36.9 points per game),
sixth in total offense (486.6 yards per game, still the second most in a
single season at Colorado) and eighth in passing offense (297.2 yards
per game). CU was 33-14 in his second go-round on the staff, which
included three bowl wins, two over Oregon in
the 1996 Cotton and 1998 Aloha and over Washington in the 1996 Holiday.
actually his fourth time he’ll be establishing roots in the state of
Colorado. In addition to his two previous stints as an assistant
coach for the Buffaloes, he was the receivers coach for the Denver
Broncos for three years (2000-2002) under Mike Shanahan.
first two career Pro Bowl selections coincided with Dorrell’s first two
years with the team, and Smith surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark
all three years under Dorrell’s tutelage. In Dorrell’s
first season with the team in 2000, Smith and Ed McCaffrey combined for
201 receptions for 2,919 yards and 17 touchdowns.
originally came to Colorado from Northern Arizona University, where he
was the offensive coordinator and receivers coach in 1990 and 1991; in
year there, NAU set school records for first downs (255) and total
offense (4,539 yards). That followed his first full-time job as
receivers coach at the University of Central Florida in 1989, that on
the heels of his first taste in coaching as a graduate
assistant at his alma mater, UCLA in 1988.
CU Boulder Chancellor
Philip P. DiStefano, who serves on the NCAA Board of Governors,
the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and is the Pac-12 Conference’s
CEO group chair, praised George for identifying and hiring someone with
the high character, integrity and experience
in Karl Dorrell.
know Karl from his past stints at CU, and am confident that his
character, experience and passion for leading student-athletes
makes him the right fit at the right time for our program,” DiStefano
said. “I want to thank Rick George for his leadership, as well as our
student-athletes for their dedication to the program during two coaching
changes in the past 15 months. They are fine
representatives of our university, and I know their character and
enthusiasm will mesh well with Coach Dorrell as he leads the team toward
re-establishing our football program as a top-tier competitor in our
conference and nationally.”
The Dolphins finished with a 5-11 record last season after starting
0-7, showing dramatic improvement over the second half of the season.
276 passing yards per game during that stretch, with the season ending
with a dramatic 27-24 win at New England which cost the Patriots a first
round bye. DeVante Parker led the team in receiving with 72 catches
for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns, with 48
for 859 yards and six scores the final nine games of the year.
to his second stint with Miami, Dorrell spent four seasons (2015-18)
with the New York Jets as their wide receivers coach. During that span,
Jets had five different players record at least 50 receptions in an
individual season while often enduring coaching a unit ravaged with
injuries. Two of his receivers were former Denver Broncos in Brandon
Marshall (who he previously coached at Miami) and
Eric Decker. In Dorrell’s first season with the Jets in 2015, he
helped Marshall set franchise records for receptions (109), receiving
yards (1,502) and receiving touchdowns (14). All three marks ranked in
the top five in the NFL that season, while Decker
caught 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns. The pair combined
for the most receptions (189) and receiving touchdowns (26) by any wide
receiver duo in team history, while setting an NFL record by scoring
touchdowns in the same game on nine occasions.
had returned to the NFL after one season (2014) at Vanderbilt
University, where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks
coach under first-year
head coach Derek Mason.
was the quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans in 2012 and 2013,
where he worked with Matt Schaub and Case Keenum. Schaub passed for
and 22 touchdowns in 2012, leading the Texans to a 12-4 record, the AFC
South Division title and a wild card playoff victory over Cincinnati
before falling to New England in the divisional round.
five years as head coach of UCLA, Dorrell went back to the NFL, where
he served as Miami’s wide receivers coach (2008-10) and then its
coach (2011). In his last year there, the Dolphins lost quarterback
Chad Henne to a season-ending injury in the fourth game; Dorrell helped
Matt Moore step in and pass for 2,497 yards and 16 touchdowns, with an
87.1 quarterback rating for his 12 starts.
In 2010, Dorrell tutored Marshall and Davone Bess to form one of the
top pass-catching combinations in the NFL, as the two would combine for
165 receptions for 1,834 yards and eight touchdowns (the receptions were
the most by a Dolphins duo in team history).
In his first season in 2008, Miami won 10 games more than the previous
season, posting an 11-5 mark and winning the AFC East, as three of
Dorrell’s receivers – Bess, Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Camarillo – all had
over 50 receptions and 500 yards (165 catches for
1,957 yards and 10 touchdowns combined).
2003, Dorrell was named head coach at his alma mater, UCLA. During his
time heading up the Bruins’ program, the school posted a 35-27 record
in Pacific 10 Conference games) and earned a bowl berth all five
seasons. His first team finished 6-7 and his second 6-6, with both
suffering defeats in their bowl games. In his third season in 2005,
UCLA went 10-2, recorded a victory over Northwestern in
the Sun Bowl and finished with a No. 13 national ranking in the USA Today
Coaches poll (No. 16 by the Associated Press). For the team’s
performance that year, Dorrell was named the Pac-10 Conference co-Coach
of the Year. In 2006, his Bruins upset
cross-town rival and second-ranked USC, 13-9, knocking the Trojans out
of a second straight BCS Championship game. That team finished the year
with a 7-6 mark, and his final squad there was 6-6 before he was
dismissed as head coach prior to the Bruins’ Las
Vegas bowl date against BYU.
twice worked with the Denver Broncos’ staff during training camp in
both 1993 and 1999 as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship
under Wade Phillips and then under Shanahan, who would give him his first full-time position in the professional ranks the following spring.
Dorrell is not the first to be hired as the head coach at Colorado who
previously was an assistant coach at the school; in fact, he is the
fifth. He joins an impressive list of those who spent time in Boulder
as an assistant before being named head coach:
Frank Potts (assistant for the 1927-39, 1941-43 and 1946-47 seasons), Rick Neuheisel (1994),
Gary Barnett (1984-91) and Jon Embree (1993-2002).
Dorrell joined the Buffs the season after Barnett was named head coach
at Northwestern, and Neuheisel actually had replaced Dorrell on the
Colorado staff under
He also becomes the third CU coach to take over the program after signing day:
Chuck Fairbanks arrived in Boulder on April 4, 1979 after a
lengthy court battle with the New England Patriots to release him from
their contract, and McCartney was hired on June 9, 1982 after Fairbanks
left to coach New Jersey in the fledgling United
States Football League (USFL).
a student-athlete at UCLA, he lettered four times at wide receiver
under coach Terry Donahue from 1982-86. He caught 108 passes for 1,517
yards and nine touchdowns, and at the time of his graduation, he was
second in receptions and fourth in receiving yards on the Bruins’
all-time charts. He signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys and
played half of the 1987 season before he was placed
on injured reserve.
was born on December 18, 1963 in Alameda, Calif., and graduated from
Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, Calif.,
a San Diego suburb (he was a two-time all-league performer and an
honorable mention All-American as a senior). He is married to the
former Kim Westley, and the couple has two grown children, son Chandler,
who was a receiver at both Stanford and Vanderbilt,
and daughter Lauren, who lettered three times on CU’s volleyball team
a full-time coach, he has coached in 428 career games: in Division I-A
(FBS) 168 games,
with his teams owning a record of 98-68-2 which includes eight bowl
games (1993 Fiesta, 1993 Aloha, 1996 Cotton, 1999 Holiday, 2003 Silicon
Valley, 2004 Las Vegas, 2005 Sun, 2006 Emerald). In his two previous
stints at Colorado, the Buffaloes were 50-19-2.
He coached in 22 games in Division I-AA (now FCS), 10 games in Division
II, and in the National Football League, he coached in 224 regular
season games (80 with Miami, 64 with the New York Jets, 48 with Denver
and 32 with Houston) as well as in four NFL playoff
games (2 with Houston, 1 each with Denver and Miami).
Defenders are arguably one of the best teams in the XFL. Their social media
handle prior to their game against the LA Wildcats was all deked out in going
13-0, thinking that no team would stand in their way. In a way they were
allowed to talk in that sort of sense. Last week they took care of an
incomplete New York Guardians team in a 27-0 shut out and had a solid offensive
outing from Cardale Jones, going for 276 yards passing with two touchdowns, and
combined for over 100 yards rushing. The LA Wildcats, meanwhile, didn’t have
enough in a late comeback against Dallas, and their direction was also going a
bit south. There was every reason to believe that this matchup would be
Well, it was
lopsided. And every LA Wildcat left Dignity Health Stadium with a much
different outlook to the 2020 season. A 39-9 win had twitter blowing up and
really giving it to anyone who thought the Defenders find this an easy matchup.
In fact, just last week, the DC Defenders made a trade with the Wildcats with LA getting defensive captain Anthony Johnson. Johnson called it a prayer leaving just after the fiasco the Wildcats had letting go of their defensive coordinator after just one game.
Coach Winston Moss was given the game ball after the team first win in franchise history took place.
“This isn’t about me, this is about all of us. We’re just getting started. We gotta be ready to go to work on Tuesday.” said LA Wildcats coach Moss
Seems like the
Wildcats had the last laugh in all of this.
In a crowd of
just under 13,000, the Wildcats gave the fans what they were looking for. Jones
had an off day throwing four interceptions. LA also got out to an explosive
27-0 lead in the first half all set up by a handful of turnovers. Josh Johnson
bounced back as well throwing for over 275 yards and three touchdowns. He even
managed a 45 yard strike, something he couldn’t muster up last week.
“I’m proud how we responded. Coach
challenged us at the beginning of the week to not focus on our record, to not
focus on their record,” Johnson said in a postgame interview on FS1.
“It’s only one game.
“Now we gotta get our season
“Josh really prepared, not only himself, but he got this team prepared,”
Wildcats head coach Winston Moss said. “He challenged the players for more
commitment, more dedication, and the results speak for themselves. I think that
the players really found out what it took to go deep and dig deep and find out
what they were made of. They had to really make a concerted effort to get this
first victory. I know it was hard for them; they were pressed all week long and
they responded very well today.”
Tre McBride also dazzled with over 100 yards
With the Wildcats getting their first win off
their backs, their next step is raising their attendance. Bringing in under
13,000 in week 3 was the lowest attendance out of the four home games. In fact,
out of the first 12 games this season, the Wildcats numbers Sunday afternoon
were the lowest for any home game for any team thus far. They don’t return back
to Los Angeles until March 8, but they are competing with an NBA hometown
showdown with the Lakers and Clippers. The only benefit: kickoff is set for 6PM
while the basketball showdown tips off at 12:30. As head coach Winston Moss
mentioned in week 2: If you win, fans will come. The Wildcats found a way to
win big against one of the better teams in the league. Now they have to worry
about keeping afloat and being noticed.
Pebble Beach Tournament is an experience that will help you think about what
you want out of life and can motivate you to make those dreams come true. Watching
the tournament on television captures the professional golfers and looks
similar to the other tournaments where a few privileged individuals compete
over the weekend for an insane amount of money.
average person cannot relate to this lifestyle. For the non-golfing spouse, who
would want to stand around in silence while unknown people come to put a ball
in a hole? Pebble will help you overcome this common misperception. Once you
attend Pebble, you will return to Pebble. Here are 5 reasons why this
experience may change your life.
1. It’s The Perfect Mix Of Golf And Entertainment
The competitors consist of the top-ranked golf
professionals, the entertainers that brought you joy and the athletes that are
part of your morning routine. The purse for the winner is $7.8 million and all
the participants are serious players. No other tournament allows a fan to
sunbathe on the beach, drink their favorite libation and wait for people that
they know and love to continuously perform for them within 50 feet.
You get to see the true pros Phil Mickelson, Jason Day,
Kevin Streelman and the rest of the field attempt to chase down the winner Nick
Taylor. The television cannot capture the energy of the tournament and the
tension at the hole. You actually get to see the landscaping of the course, how
the grass is contoured to make the ball curve, and how these pitfalls require a
level of skill that your neighborhood golf course does not require. You will
want to elevate your level of play to get to this level.Playing on a team with
the pro is another person that has also brought you some fond memories. Whether
it was the Great One Wayne Gretzky scoring the goal, Peyton Manning or Aaron
Rogers throwing the touchdown pass that made you scream at the television, or Bill
Murray making you laugh, they all are there to perform for you. You get to see
the big screen come to life while these people are amenable to having a
conversation with you after they leave the hole. There is someone for everyone
that attends Pebble.
2. There Is Entertainment And Great Food At The Tournament
The tournament coordinators understand that people need
to be entertained. In 2020, award-winning artist Macklemore was there to
provide some entertainment. The AT&T Loft allows everyone to put on a
simulator for free. The simulator moves and recreates the course and gives the
average Joe a chance to see if he or she would have made the iconic shot from a
There are amazing food vendors throughout the main course
at Pebble where people can partake in everything from nachos to exotic seafood
dishes. Many people opt to enjoy the wild décor of Clint’s Saloon or Palmer’s
Club 18 presented by Citrix.
Pebble did not forget about the kids. Take the youngsters
to the “Autograph Zone” where they can get a selfie and autograph from their
favorite celebrity. During the tournament, many people log onto social media and
post all the excitement of the event.
3. The Nearby Attractions Are Amazing
The tournament will be over by 5 pm. There are so many
things to do that are within a 10-20 mile radius of the tournament. Many people
opt to leave a little early to catch the perfect sunset while they drive or
bike the infamous 17-Mile Drive. Others take a horseback ride on the Beach
or visit Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can also find vintage
and high-end arts and clothing as you shop on Ocean Drive at Carmel By the Sea.
Fine dining, gourmet candy shops, and award-winning Vineyards and Tasting Rooms
are 5 miles away in Carmel Valley. If you need some exercise, you can run along
the beach at the nearby Monterey Tides or hike at Point Lobos or Big Sur. The
white sandy beaches tend to provide for sanctuary and reflection that we all
sometimes need. A few groups opted to travel to the places depicted in the
phenomenal HBO Series Big Little Lies, which was filmed in Monterey, CA.
4. The Energy From The Staff Is Amazing
The 3 courses at Pebble include the mainstay Pebble
Beach, Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course and Spyglass Hills. Every course is
a postcard picture in itself and is the most diverse and magnificent scenery in
golf. What is more impressive than the scenery are the people that host the
tournament. The vast majority of personnel are volunteers. Instead of
experiencing the underpaid worker that doesn’t truly want to be there, you get
someone who is ecstatic to be there. One couple travels annually from Kansas
City to help at the tournament. Even though they are escaping the winter in KC,
they opt to spend the week helping you enjoy and understand the history of the
tournament. Pebble also provides a huge party for its volunteers and makes sure
that they are appreciated. There is another level of concierge and
positive energy when the staff wants to be present. The energy from the time
you enter the gates ofPeeble is extremely positive and refreshing.
5. Pebble May Refocus Your Value System
There is nothing that challenges your value system like
money. Pebble is affluent. As you to approach the course, you are surrounded by
homes that cost $2 million. If you want a peek at the water, pay $4 million. If
you want a home on the course, pay upward of $20 million. This will be your
second home and you have not purchased furniture.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to grind harder and
achieve these goals. However, you see many couples holding hands while walking
around. They tend to have been reminded that they are part of a team. A
team that consists of more than money and things. The partnership and the
journey are just as valuable as the purchase.
In sum, the Pebble Beach Tournament may bring you fond
memories, breathtaking views, great food and entertainment, and a renewed value
system. Put it on your bucket list.
Pacific Palisades, CA-
Matt Kuchar held the lead for the first three rounds and most of the fourth at
Riviera Country Club, but it was Adam Scott (-11) who was able edge out Kuchar
to walk away as the 2020 Genesis Invitational Champion.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to win a tournament of this stature on a golf course of this stature. It was a wonderful week, it was incredibly enjoyable just being here with the weather like this, the course in perfect condition and a great field,” said Scott “Even better to come out on top and kind of have your game really tested today. It was not easy and that was most enjoyable to kind of see that my game is holding up to that.”
Scott, Kuchar and Rory McIlroy were tied for the lead at 10-under par after the third round. After two rounds of 68 and one of 67, McIlroy had his worst round on Sunday shooting a 73. He finished the tournament tied for fifth at -8.
“Yeah, yeah, definitely the toughest day of the week.” said McIlroy , “The wind was up, hole locations were sort of tricky spots, the course was firming up again.”
Kuchar finished the tournament tied for second. Like McIlroy, Kuchar also had his worst round on Sunday, shooting a 72.
“It’s tricky, knowing that I didn’t have my best stuff. Proud of the way I kind of held up and managed around this golf course. There are weeks where you really have it, you’re in control and you think the game’s easy,” said Kuchar, “Certainly was really pleased to feel like I was able to make the most of what I had. So I look back at this week and say it was a good run, I made the most of what I had.”
Scott Brown and Sung Kang also tied for 2nd place, along with Kuchar.
Host of the
Tournament, Tiger Woods, finished in last place with a score of 11 over par.
With the XFL 20 years removed, it all seemed like an
afterthought with the league going one and done when NBC bailed and no other
major market waned to touch the league. Fans of the league remember how
different the staging was compared to what the NFL wanted to portray: custom
jersey names, removing the coin toss from the kickoff and instead making it a
free for all, and giving fans access to practically everything, all down to the
cheerleader locker rooms.
20 years later, nearly everyone forgot that the Los Angeles
Xtreme were actually a pretty good football team. They were also winners of the
only XFL championship, finishing also with a 7-3 record and had won most of their
games by double digits. Of course, when you have an eventual NFL super bowl
winning quarterback like Tommy Maddox and a CFL standout like Jermaine
Copeland, teams like that will be hard to beat.
Los Angeles was then awarded with a second chance at the
league that has revamped itself as trying to not compete with anyone else. With
far different rules compared to the NFL, fans on Sunday were treated to a much
different, and arguably more fan friendly experience. Fans got shout-outs from
the players all game long. They were greeted to a much more inexpensive
football experience full of pregame parties, autographs from the players, and
in your face action.
With all the positives outside of the game, inside was a
little different. The Wildcats last week were manhandled by Houston which led
to the firing of defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson. Their defense was much
better against Dallas on Sunday, but both sides could not score. In fact, the
Wildcats drove the ball inside the Renegades 10 yard line, only to cough up the
football. Back and forth the two teams were unable to find the endzone until
the fourth quarter when Josh Johnson found Nelson Spruce in the back of the
endzone to give the Wildcats their first lead of the 2020 season.
Dallas eventually found the endzone after the ensuing
Wildcats touchdown with Cameron Curtis Payne capping off a six play drive going
68 yards in just three minutes. By then both offenses picked everything up, but
trading touchdowns ended up going into the hands of Dallas with a 25-18
“The adjustments in the second half kept us in,” Johnson
said. “But the entire game we left a lot on the field, and I mean a lot. We
have to use this week in practice to get mentally better.”
“Right now we are just making mistakes,” Spruce said. “The
only good news is that we aren’t getting overmatched completely. But
All in all though, it seemed like that fans cared more about
being in the action more than anything else. The announced crowd of 14,979 made
the game the way it was. All the oos and ahhs after each play, starting waves
that rocked the stadium, and your usual fight in the stands breaking out here
and there gave everyone the full on experience that certainly will want people
to come out again, so it seems.
“This was definitely a different experience, and a great one
at that,” Wildcats head coach Winston Moss said. “The great thing about Los
Angeles is if we win, the city will back you up. I am disappointed that we
didn’t get the win today, but I am thrilled that the fans showed up and I
definitely felt a lot of that today.”
At 0-2, the Wildcats do appear to be far apart from teams
like DC and Houston. Having late scoring surges trying to keep up will make
this short 10 week season drag in a hurry if they can’t find themselves. Taking
on a DC team that has already scored 58 points through the first two weeks
could already be sensing trouble for the Wildcats in week 3.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Moss said. “Right now it’s a
ball security issue. We can’t win games if we can’t take care o the football.
During our practices that is one of our main focuses. If we can’t take care of
the football, there is no way we can win in any type of football game.”