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Archive for January 8th, 2019

NFL announces Coaches for 2019 East-West Shrine Game

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

Sam Mills III (courtesy Carolina Panthers)

Adam Zimmer (courtesy Minnesota Vikings)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NFL today announced the head coaches for the 2019 EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME – SAM MILLS III of the Carolina Panthers and ADAM ZIMMER of the Minnesota Vikings.

Mills, who will serve as the head coach of the East team, has spent the past 14 seasons (2005-present) on the Panthers’ staff and the past eight (2011-18) as assistant defensive line coach. He was promoted to defensive line coach this past December.

During Mills’ tenure, the Carolina defensive line has es​tablished itself as a dominant unit, leading the NFL in sacks and ranking second in rushing yards allowed since 2012. His linemen contributed to a sixth-ranked defense that reached the Super Bowl in 2015, led by Pro Bowler KAWANN SHORT‘s career-high 11 sacks. In 2013, Carolina’s 60 sacks ranked first in the league and were tied for the most in a single season in franchise history (60 in 1996). A Division II All-American linebacker at Montclair State, Mills III is the son of SAM MILLS, the former Panther linebacker who is the only player in franchise history to have his number retired and remains the only player inducted into the team’s Hall of Honor.

Zimmer, who will coach the West team, is a 13-year coaching veteran and has spent the past five seasons (2014-present) as the Vikings’ linebackers coach. In 2017, led by leading tackler ERIC KENDRICKS and Pro Bowler ANTHONY BARR, Zimmer’s unit contributed to a defense that led the league in both total defense and scoring defense. Prior to joining Minnesota’s staff, Zimmer spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2013), Kansas City Chiefs (2010-12) and New Orleans Saints (2006-09), where he served as assistant linebacker coach during their Super Bowl XLIV-winning season. A former safety at Trinity University, Adam is the son of Vikings Head Coach MIKE ZIMMER.

“We have a terrific partnership with the NFL that has once again yielded two outstanding head coaches,” said HAROLD RICHARDSON, executive director of the East-West Shrine Game. “Sam Mills III and Adam Zimmer are excellent teachers who will enjoy this opportunity and no doubt be tremendous examples for our players as they prepare to launch their NFL careers.”

At the conclusion of the NFL regular season, teams nominated deserving assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel that includes NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee. Once the head coaches are selected, each head coach then fills his 12-person staff from among other NFL assistant coaches nominated by the clubs, a key job requirement for head coaches at every level of the sport.

Coaches nominated by NFL clubs must be active assistant coaches who display extraordinary teaching and communications skills, and are recognized for their integrity and commitment to excellence in the coaching profession. The coaches must be accomplished at developing and preparing players to compete in the NFL.

The NFL also provides the game officials for the contest.

The 94th annual East-West Shrine Game, which features some of college football’s best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 19, from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.

For more than 90 years, some of football’s greatest players and coaches have contributed to the tradition of the East-West Shrine Game, the nation’s first college all-star football game. Created by the Shriners in 1925, the game is driven by the desire to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. Participating players make an annual visit to the local Shriners Hospital, visiting children and staff in an experience that they will truly never forget.

 

NFL Playoffs moves into Divisional Play this week

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NFL’S FINAL EIGHT TAKE CENTER STAGE IN DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

​And then there were eight.

On Saturday, January 12, the Kansas City Chiefs (12-4), who won the AFC West and secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC, will host the Indianapolis Colts (11-6) at Arrowhead Stadium to kick off the Divisional Playoffs (NBC, 4:35 PM ET). That night in primetime (FOX, 8:15 PM ET), the Los Angeles Rams (13-3), who won the NFC West and own the No. 2 seed in the NFC, will host the Dallas Cowboys (11-6) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

On Sunday, January 13, the New England Patriots (11-5), the AFC East champions and the AFC’s No. 2 seed, will welcome the Los Angeles Chargers (13-4) to Gillette Stadium (CBS, 1:05 PM ET). The NFC South-champion New Orleans Saints (13-3), who own the NFC’s No. 1 seed, will host the defending Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles (10-7) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (FOX, 4:40 PM ET) to conclude Divisional weekend.

Saturday, January 12
AFC Indianapolis at Kansas City 4:35 PM ET NBC  
NFC Dallas at Los Angeles Rams 8:15 PM ET FOX  
         
Sunday, January 13
AFC Los Angeles Chargers at New England 1:05 PM ET CBS  
NFC Philadelphia at New Orleans 4:40 PM ET FOX  

 

Three of the remaining eight clubs – Cowboys, Colts and Chargers – are new teams in this year’s playoff field. There were a total of seven new playoff teams in 2018 and since 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-6) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4) (Saturday, NBC, 4:35 PM ET)

  • This is the fifth postseason meeting between the teams and the first since the 2013 playoffs when the Colts defeated the Chiefs, 45-44, on Wild Card Weekend (January 4, 2014). The Colts lead the postseason series 4-0 and, including the postseason, Indianapolis holds a 16-9 advantage in the all-time series.
  • The Colts defeated the Houston Texans 21-7 last week to advance to the Divisional Playoffs. Quarterback ANDREW LUCK passed for 222 yards with two touchdowns and running back MARLON MACK rushed for 148 yards and a score in the win.
  • The Chiefs won the AFC West division title for the third consecutive season, the longest streak in franchise history. Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES became the second player in NFL history with at least 5,000 passing yards (5,097) and 50 touchdown passes (50) in a single season, and wide receiver TYREEK HILL set a single-season franchise record with 1,479 receiving yards.

DALLAS COWBOYS (11-6) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (13-3) (Saturday night, FOX, 8:15 PM ET)

  • This is the ninth postseason meeting between the teams and the first since the 1985 NFC Divisional Playoffs, which the Rams won 20-0. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 17-16, including the playoffs, and have won three of the past four meetings.
  • The Cowboys defeated Seattle 24-22 last week on Wild Card Weekend and earned their first postseason win since the 2014 season (January 4, 2015 vs. Detroit in the Wild Card round). Quarterback DAK PRESCOTT passed for 226 yards and had two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), including a one-yard touchdown run with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. Running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 169 scrimmage yards (137 rushing, 32 receiving) and a touchdown last week and has at least 125 rushing yards in each of his first two career playoff games.
  • The Rams, who won the NFC West in consecutive seasons for the time since 1973-79, enter the postseason as the NFC’s No. 2 seed. Los Angeles led the conference in total offense (421.1 yards per game) and scoring (32.9 points per game) this season, while running back TODD GURLEY led the NFL with 21 scrimmage touchdowns and ranked fourth with 1,831 scrimmage yards. Defensive tackle AARON DONALD (20.5 sacks) won the 2018 Deacon Jones Award, given annually to the NFL leader in quarterback sacks.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (13-4) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-5) (Sunday, CBS, 1:05 PM ET)

  • This is the fourth postseason meeting between the teams and the third career playoff matchup between Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS and New England quarterback TOM BRADY, with the Patriots winning each of their first two postseason meetings.

    New England leads the all-time series 24-15-2, including the playoffs, and has won each of the past four games.

  • The Chargers defeated Baltimore 23-17 last week to advance to the Divisional Playoffs. Running back MELVIN GORDON rushed for a touchdown and rookie kicker MICHAEL BADGLEY converted five field goals, the most made field goals in a single postseason game since the 2016 season (Pittsburgh’s CHRIS BOSWELL, six on January 15, 2017).
  • The Patriots won the AFC East division title for the 10th consecutive season and surpassed Dallas (nine from 1975-1983) and Indianapolis (nine from 2002-2010) for the most consecutive seasons in NFL history with a playoff berth. Quarterback TOM BRADY is the NFL’s all-time postseason leader in games played (37), wins (27), completions (920), passing yards (10,226) and touchdown passes (71), and tight end ROB GRONKOWSKIhas 12 career playoff touchdown catches, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for the second-most in postseason history.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-7) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-3) (Sunday, FOX, 4:40 PM ET)

  • The teams will meet in the playoffs for the fourth time with New Orleans holding a 2-1 advantage. In their last postseason meeting, the Saints defeated the Eagles 26-24 in the 2013 NFC Wild Card round (January 4, 2014). Philadelphia, which leads the all-time series 17-14 (including the playoffs), fell to New Orleans earlier this season, 48-7, in Week 11.
  • The Eagles recorded a 16-15 victory over Chicago in last week’s Wild Card showdown and are looking to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since the 2003-04 Patriots. Quarterback NICK FOLES completed the go-ahead two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver GOLDEN TATE with 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of last week’s victory. Foles has won four consecutive postseason starts, including being named the MVP of Super Bowl LII last season.
  • ​New Orleans won the NFC South division title for the second consecutive year for the first time in franchise history and were one of three teams to average at least 30 points per game (31.5) this season. Quarterback DREW BREES set an NFL single-season record for completion percentage (74.4) and led the league in passer rating (115.7) in 2018, while wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS led the NFL with 125 receptions and set a franchise single-season record with 1,405 receiving yards.

 

Daily Almanac for Tuesday, January 8, 2019

DAILY ALMANAC WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF www.almanac.com

 

(courtesy http www.getalternative.com)

 

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Young Buckeyes give #8 Spartans a run for their money in 86-77 loss

GAME RECAP NOTES WRITTEN  BY & COURTESY OF OHIO STATE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

OHIO STATE POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE WITH C.J. JACKSON & KALEB WESSON

64,269 C.J. Jackson OSU guard On his career long cramping issues kept him out of game when team needed him the most 1 5 2019

64,272 Kaleb Wesson OSU center Going up against old Ohio Capital Conference foe in Nick Ward a physical game indeed 1 5 2019

64,275 C.J. Jackson OSU guard The team’s feelings when in the last 5 minutes MSU was pulling away was there still hope to win 1 5 19

64,276 C.J. Jackson OSU guard How close are the Buckeyes to a team of Michigan State’s caliber 1 5 2019

64,277 C.J. Jackson OSU guard Why did the Spartans shoot 76 percent in the 2nd half Was it bad defense or they got good looks 1 5 2019

C.J. Jackson said that he thinks Ohio State is just as good as the Spartans if they can clean up some deficient areas and lapses (megasportsnews.com photo)

OSU POST GAME NOTES

No. 8 Michigan State 86 (13-2, 4-0 B1G), No. 14 Ohio State 77 (12-2, 2-1 B1G) Jan. 5, 2019 Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio

GAME/SERIES  The game was officially a sellout with 18,809 spectators filling Value City Arena.  The Buckeyes are 61-18 in sellouts at VCA and 53-15 in sellout games against Big Ten Conference foes. The last sellout at VCA was last season when the Buckeyes hosted Iowa (2/10/18).  The Buckeyes are now 68-57 all-time against the Spartans. When facing Michigan State in Columbus, Ohio State falls to 37-23.

TEAM  When both the Buckeyes and the opponent are ranked in the Associated Press Top-25, Ohio State is 76-77.  In games that they are leading at the half, the Buckeyes are 8-2 on the season.  The Buckeyes turned the ball over just five times. The last time the team recorded five or fewer turnovers was last season at Rutgers (1/14/18) when the team recorded five total turnovers.  The Buckeyes were 9-for-9 from the free throw line in the first half. The team finished 16-for-21 from the line. Michigan State made 30 free throws. The last time an opponent made 25+ free throws was when Purdue made 25 on 31 attempts (1/21/16). The Spartans 37 free throw attempts is the most attempts an opponent has made since Minnesota took 32 last season (12/2/18).

Kaleb Wesson said that the Buckeyes had lapses that hurt them against Michigan State (megasportsnews.com photo)

CHRIS HOLTMANN  Chris Holtmann is now 1-1 when coaching against Michigan State.  Against Big Ten opponents, Holtmann is now 17-4.

KALEB WESSON  Kaleb Wesson netted 25 points for the Buckeyes, his second 20+ point game this season.  Wesson recorded his 1,000th minute in the contest, playing 28 minutes against the Spartans. Wesson has now played 1,023 minutes in his career as a Buckeye.  The sophomore grabbed eight boards, two blocks and had zero turnovers for the Buckeyes.

C.J. JACKSON  C.J. Jackson led Ohio State with five assists in the contest.  With 10 points in the game, Jackson is six points shy of 800 for his career. He has scored in double-figures in 10 games this season.  In his 80th game as a Buckeye, Jackson added five rebounds, four steals and zero turnovers for Ohio State.

KYLE YOUNG  Kyle Young recorded his 100th point of the season in the contest. Young scored eight points for a season total of 106 and career total of 150.  Young went 4-for-4 from the field, grabbed one board, dished two assists and recorded two steals for the Buckeyes.

OHIO STATE SCORING AND INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

24 Andre Wesson 10 points, 4 rebounds

34 Kaleb Wesson 25 points, 8 rebounds

1 Luther Muhammad 12 points

3 C.J. Jackson 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals

32 Keyshawn Woods 4 assists

25 Kyle Young 8 points, 2 assists, 2 steals

4 Duane Washington Jr. 10 points, 4 rebounds

Also playing in the game: 23 Jaedon LeDee, 2 Musa Jallow, 10 Justin Ahrens & 14 Joey Lane.

 

Chris Holtmann says that the Buckeyes are not at the level where they need to be at this time. Still a young team (megasportsnews.com photo)

#8 Michigan State with big 2nd half, holds off upset-minded #14 Ohio State

GAME RECAP NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MICHIGAN STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

MICHIGAN STATE POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE WITH HEAD COACH TOM IZZO

64,254 Tom Izzo Michigan State coach Overall thoughts on game with Ohio State 1 5 2019

64,256 Tom Izzo Michigan State coach Nick Ward is from Columbus he played better this year here than last year 1 5 2019

64,258 Tom Izzo Michigan State coach It was a Throwback Game with physicalness of Kaleb Wesson & Nick Ward banging each other around inside 1 5 2019

64,260 Tom Izzo Michigan State coach On the Ahrens Brothers from Versailles Ohio playing against each other and on Kenny Goins play in the game 1 5 2019

64,264 Tom Izzo Michigan State coach How did your team shoot 76 percent in the 2nd half against a solid defensive team 1 5 2019

MICHIGAN STATE INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

25 Kenny Goins 6 points, 8 rebounds

44 Nick Ward 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots

0 Kyle Ahrens 9 points

5 Cassius Winston 25 points, 5 assists

20 Matt McQuaid 12 points, 6 rebounds

23 Xavier Tillman 8 points, 5 rebound, 4 assists

11 Aaron Henry 5 points

Also playing was 13 Gabe Brown and 3 Foster Loyer and they did not score

Records

Michigan State, winners of eight-straight games and 13 of its last 14 overall, improves to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten, while Ohio State falls to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.

Quick Summary

Ohio State led 50-42 and the Spartans went on a 9-0 run and took the lead at 51-50 on an Aaron Henry 3-pointer with 14:42 to play.

after an Ohio State lead, 72-71 with 4:53 to play, the Spartans took control with an 8-0 run to go up 79-72 with 1:07 left and that was the game.

Tom Izzo Michigan State head coach talks with Spartan Radio Network after OSU game 1 5 19 (megasportsnews.com photo)

Key Stats

  • Winston scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, connecting on 8-of-12 shots from the floor, and handed out five assists.
  • Ward finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, connecting on 5-of-7 shots from the floor and 11-of-14 from the free throw line.
  • McQuaid.added 12 points and six rebounds
  • Michigan State outscored Ohio State, 50-34, in the second half and connected on 76.5 percent of its shots during the final 20 minutes (13-of-17), while hitting 84-6 percent of its free throws (22-of-26) in that span.
  • The Spartans held a 37-26 advantage in rebounding.
  • MSU connected on 30-of-37 free throws, 81.1 percent.

Notes

  • This was the 11th time this season Michigan State has scored at least 80 points.
  • Michigan State connected on 54.3 percent of its field goals (25-of-46), the 10th game this season the team has connected on at least 50 percent of its field goals and the seventh-straight.
  • Winston led Michigan State in scoring for the sixth time this season.
  • He has scored at least 20 points six times this season, including three of the last four games, averaging 21.8 points per game in that span.
  • Ward scored at least 20 points for the seventh time this season and the 18th time of his career.
  • This was Ward’s 12th game in double figures and the 57th of his career.
  • McQuaid reached double figures in scoring for the sixth time this season.
  • MSU connected on a season-high 30 free throws with a season-high 37 attempts.  The team’s 81.1 free throw percentage was the second-highest (81.8 percent vs. ULM).

 

Coach Izzo told the media that his team's experience took over in the 2nd half of Saturday's win at Ohio State (megasportsnews.com photo)