Big East : West Virginia prepares for primetime matchup with LSU


first_imgDana Holgorsen knows the speed and talent of Louisiana State presents a daunting challenge for his West Virginia team. Yet the Mountaineers’ head coach isn’t worrying about that right now. WVU will have to adjust to that on Saturday.For now, Holgorsen can only worry about his offensive schemes and preparing a strategy to make that adjustment a little easier on his players.‘When you play a team like this that has talented individuals at every position and they got backups that are talented as well,’ Holgorsen said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference Monday, ‘then you don’t worry too much about matchups.’Holgorsen’s spread offense will be tested by No. 2 LSU’s speed when the Tigers travel to Morgantown, W.Va., for a showdown with the No. 16 Mountaineers. ESPN College GameDay will make the trip to Morgantown for the first time, adding to the anticipation for a matchup set to be nationally televised during primetime at 8 p.m. Saturday.West Virginia (3-0, 0-0 Big East) has been prolific on offense through three games, running Holgorsen’s new scheme and averaging 42 points per game. But LSU (3-0, 1-0 SEC) will provide a stiffer test with its supreme speed and depth across the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Mountaineers have put up points against Marshall, Norfolk State and Maryland, but a Southeastern Conference opponent like LSU is on another level of competition.Still, Holgorsen doesn’t want to make the game bigger than any other. He doesn’t want his players to become preoccupied with the primetime stage or GameDay atmosphere. His team can only control its play on the field Saturday.And to perform at the highest level, West Virginia must be prepared to execute its game plan. It doesn’t matter how fast and strong the opponent is if the Mountaineers can’t make plays.‘It’s every bit as big as the last game was, and it’s every bit as big as the next game will be,’ Holgorsen said. ‘That’s one thing that we’ve tried to preach with our guys is it’s more about us than who we play.’For Holgorsen, that means focusing on the scheme.It’s a scheme he learned as an assistant under Hal Mumme at Valdosta State from 1993-95 and continued to study under Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-07.Holgorsen moved on to become the offensive coordinator at Houston and Oklahoma State before coming to West Virginia to replace Bill Stewart.At Houston and Oklahoma State, his offenses ranked among the best in the nation. The Cougars finished third in total offense in 2008 and first in 2009, and the Cowboys boasted the top offense in the country in 2010.He has used the philosophy he learned under Mumme and Leach to succeed at every stop.‘Spreading the ball around to specific people has always been one of our goals,’ Holgorsen said. ‘You can put five skill guys out there, and our goal is to spread the ball around to all five of them and make five guys as productive as we possibly can.’That strategy worked in West Virginia’s 37-31 win over Maryland on Saturday. Quarterback Geno Smith completed 36 passes out of 49 attempts for 388 yards — all career-highs. In the process, three Mountaineers wide receivers finished with at least 100 yards receiving for the first time in program history.LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has noticed Smith’s improvement from last season when the Tigers and Mountaineers met in Baton Rouge, La. Then-No. 15 LSU beat then-No. 22 West Virginia 20-14, and Mathieu intercepted Smith to set up a field goal in the second quarter.Mathieu said Smith has spread the ball to different receivers well this year. He said Smith looks like a ‘general’ on the field leading the offense this season.To counter his production, Mathieu said the defense will send different blitz packages at Smith to throw off his timing and decision-making.‘The quarterback is making smart decisions, so we’ll just worry about us gelling together as a defense,’ Mathieu said, ‘and pretty much just keeping him contained and keeping him rattled.’Even though West Virginia will have to adjust to LSU’s speed, Mathieu said the Mountaineers have athletes that could match up in the SEC on an individual level if not in terms of overall team speed.‘I do think it’s a difference, you know, with SEC speed and Big East speed,’ Mathieu said. ‘Those guys have a couple guys who could probably outrun a lot of guys in the SEC.’And as the Mountaineers make changes on the fly to keep up with the Tigers’ athletes, LSU head coach Les Miles will have his hands full trying to figure out Holgorsen’s scheme, as it provides a unique challenge for his team.Though Miles will aim to generate pressure on Smith with blitzes as Mathieu said, he’ll have to figure out how Holgorsen’s offense attacks those defensive looks throughout the game.So as the Mountaineers must try to contain speed, the Tigers must counter by playing solid defense against WVU’s scheme.‘Rushing the passer is generally the same, but the combinations in how they get it off and put their passing game together is much different,’ Miles said in his Monday press conference. ‘It requires some adjustment.’[email protected] Comments Published on September 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Ole Miss players kneel in response to Confederacy rally


first_imgOXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Eight University of Mississippi basketball players kneeled during the national anthem Saturday before a victory over Georgia in response to a Confederacy rally near the arena. Six Mississippi basketball players take a knee during the national anthem before an NCAA college basketball game against Georgia in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. (Nathanael Gabler/The Oxford Eagle via AP) With the teams lined up across the court at the free throw lines, six players took a knee and bowed at the start of the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Two other players later joined them.“The majority of it was just that we saw one of our teammates doing it and didn’t want him to be alone,” Ole Miss scoring leader Breein Tyree said. “We’re just tired of these hate groups coming to our school and portraying our campus like we have these hate groups in our actual school.”The Confederacy demonstration took place a few hundred feet from the arena. In the aftermath of violence at a similar rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Oxford community has been on alert.Various student groups held counter-protests on campus Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s march, led by Pro-Confederate groups Confederate 901 and the Hiwaymen, also drew counter-protesters. The march began at the Confederate monument on the city square and ended at another Confederate monument in the heart of the Ole Miss campus.“This was all about the hate groups that came to our community to try spread racism and bigotry,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “It’s created a lot of tension for our campus. Our players made an emotional decision to show these people they’re not welcome on our campus, and we respect our players freedom and ability to choose that.”Kneeling during the anthem has become a popular way for athletes — starting with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — to protest racial injustice and inequality.Ole Miss beat Georgia 72-71.last_img read more

Scene On Film: ‘The Great Gatsby’


first_imgRated PG-13 By Joan EllisPerhaps it’s time we stop insisting that a movie adaptation be faithful to the book.What’s wrong with directors building wildly different films on the bones of the same story? We can easily imagine the results if Picasso and Sargent chose to paint the same human being. So let’s consider the latest big screen version of The Great Gatsby in that light.Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.This is director Baz Luhrmann’s wild-eyed take on the Jazz Age. Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is writing about Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) – the man with improbable millions from bootlegging and crime who built his castle across the Long Island cove where his long-ago love Daisy (Carey Mulligan) now lives with her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). And so the tale of lost love unfolds.The bones of the novel are still in place: Gatsby’s belief that the luxury he has created can win Daisy from Tom, his manipulation of Nick, the accident with the yellow Duesen­berg (though Fitz­gerald’s Gatsby actually drove a Rolls Royce).It is with the parties that director Luhrmann takes leave of the book and perhaps of his senses. He sees the novel as a platform for the extraordinary excess of the ‘20s and steams full bore into overkill. The musical score, an odd mix of occasional jazz and modern hip-hop, may be overwhelming, but it does serve to link that era to our own.As background for the relentless, alcohol-soaked parties that consume the first half of the movie, it becomes a series of unwelcome exclamation points. Carloads of uninvited guests pour themselves into the overwhelming excess of Gatsby’s landscape to drink and dance under the robotic attention of tuxedo-clad butlers.Fitzgerald bore the burden of his lifelong inability to jettison his past as he tried to cross the cove to the world he wanted. His writing is laced with the sweet sadness of being born in St. Paul, Minn., to parents of Irish descent followed by Catholic schools – all of which would have been fine if he had chosen any college other than Princeton where the WASP culture ruled in silent arrogance during the ‘20s. He carried the tender wound of their social rejection. “Once again, I was within and without.”Denied the acceptance he craved, Fitzgerald, in his final novel, created Jay Gatsby who claws and fights his way to Daisy by force with a fabricated past and criminal fortune.Leonardo DiCaprio creates a thoroughly unpleasant Gatsby. Joel Edgerton’s Tom is hideously effective, and Carey Mulligan is stranded in the role of a thoroughly empty vessel. Of the time she and Gatsby had lost, “Five lost years struggled on Daisy’s lips, but all she could manage was ‘I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts.’ ” As narrator/observer Nick Carraway, Tobey Maguire seems too weak to have written the story of the life he calls “a chemical madness.”This movie is Baz Lurhmann’s imagining of the Jazz Age as painted by Picasso, not Sargent. Joan Ellis’ address on the Internet, which contains her review library, is JoanEllis.com.last_img read more

India look to avoid tactical blunders with series at stake versus Australia


first_imgAll eyes will be on Virat Kohli’s leadership when India walk out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the second T20 International against Australia on Friday. Some glaring tactical blunders cost India dearly as they went down to the hosts by four runs (DLS) in a rain-truncated match.However, there will be no margin for errors against an Australian team that is starting to believe it can compete. It was only one match but the Aussies showed they can take the fight to their more fancied opponents. They were without Steve Smith and David Warner (as they will be for the rest of the Australian summer) against an Indian team which had won 10 of the previous 16 T20Is between the two teams. Australia had won only five.India had won the toss on a what looked like a belter of a pitch but their playing XI had raised some immediate questions. Yuzvendra Chahal has been one of the most successful bowlers in T20 Internationals this year – yet, he was left out as India went in with Krunal Pandya whose left-arm spin cost India 55 runs in four overs.With the bat, Krunal lasted only four balls so it would be unfair to really assess his role there.Read – Melbourne T20I: Will India replace Krunal Pandya with Yuzvendra Chahal?The Australian line-up is packed with hard-hitting batsmen and it could be worthwhile to try Chahal out. If Kohli does want to go in with a specialist all-rounder, chances are Washington Sundar might get a game.advertisementBesides, the batsmen really need to sharpen their game. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had a rare off day but Shikhar Dhawan needed more support. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik revived India’s hopes but the former’s untimely dismissal made it more complicated for India.Also read – India have a lot of problems that need to be solved: Harbhajan SinghFor starters though, Kohli needs to get back to his usual No.3 spot.Australia, meanwhile, will be thrilled with their performance. Marcus Stoinis played a brilliant all-round role. Adam Zampa was sensational with his leg spin and the batting group stepped up collectively.Also read – Virat Kohli wants India to ‘learn from mistakes’ after heartbreaking Gabba defeatIndia flew out to Australia with their eyes firmly on the Test series but a strong show in the T20Is could work wonders for their confidence before the real battle starts. With the series now on the line, it is now important India no commit the glaring errors from Wednesday.last_img read more

Sebastian Vettel snatches dramatic Canadian GP pole from Lewis Hamilton


first_img … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Formula One Formula One 2019 The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Sebastian Vettel A long time coming, Sebastian Vettel was finally able to climb from his car and revel in once more being at the front of the grid after he took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix. Vettel was understandably emotional, buzzing on his achievement and no doubt some relief that he had finally beaten Lewis Hamilton into second.The German’s championship hopes had been slipping away with Ferrari seemingly powerless in the face of the Mercedes juggernaut this season, but pole in Montreal is a lifeline for Vettel and the Scuderia.Vettel put in a stunning lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to pip Hamilton for the top spot at Sunday’s 50th Canadian Grand Prix. In what was expected to be a tight fight at the front he had to pull out an inch-perfect run on his final lap and was ecstatic at claiming pole for the first time this year. His teammate Charles Leclerc was in third with Daniel Ricciardo making the best of his chance to take fourth for Renault. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly was in fifth.Ferrari have yet to win this year and a beaming Vettel admitted it was just what was needed after a tough opening to the season. “As I crossed the line, I was looking up and I didn’t know who was coming behind. Then I heard them screaming ‘pole position!’,” he said. “It was just pure joy, mixed with the adrenaline. I’m not a singer, but I was screaming quite hard.”Vettel had to be at his best in Montreal, making the most of the minor advantage Ferrari have enjoyed all weekend. Hamilton was quickest on his first hot run in Q3 with a time of 1min 10.493 sec, almost two-tenths clear of Vettel. However on their last laps Vettel pulled out all the stops and with a time of 1:10.24 left Hamilton, who made a mistake at the hairpin on his last lap, in his wake, two-tenths down. Share on Messenger Hamilton acknowledged a resurgent Ferrari. “This is fantastic for the sport,” he said. “I love to fight with another team, and today was just so close. At some stages they were ahead of us and we were swapping all the way. I hope this is a turning point for them and it’s going to be very close from now on and we’re going to have a serious battle throughout the season. That would be fantastic.”This is Vettel’s 56th career pole position and is finally the return to form he would have wanted from Ferrari. It is his first for 17 races, the last coming in Germany in 2018.Having done so he will be hoping to exert calm control from the front and make an inroad into the 55 points by which he trails Hamilton in the championship. He and Ferrari badly need to begin hauling Mercedes back and if Vettel can take his first win since the Belgian Grand Prix last year it will just keep their title hopes alive.Qualifying had been far from a forgone conclusion and was perhaps the hardest to call all season. Mercedes brought their first new engine upgrade to Canada and were optimistic it would represent a step forward; indeed, Ferrari believed Mercedes still had the advantage. However, on a track where Ferrari’s straight-line speed and low drag was expected to favour the Scuderia, Vettel made the most of it.His team had employed a new turbo and MGU-H energy recovery system and hoped to rediscover the form with which they had looked so strong in testing. In Canada at least they have once again found the balance and grip in their car. Working the tyres to the right temperature has proved crucial and they found the sweet spot here.The real business is yet to come but Vettel has excellent form in Canada. This is his fifth pole here and his second in a row, having also taken the top spot which he converted to victory last year. He also won for Red Bull in 2013 and starting from the front, he will be optimistic of claiming his first victory this season and finally ending the Mercedes hegemony.Kevin Magnussen crashed his Haas in Q2, ending the session while Max Verstappen was on his final lap and leaving the Dutchman unable to finish. Red Bull had put him out on the medium tyres for his first run but it proved costly. He was knocked out in 11th place, while Magnussen finished in 10th. Share via Email Topics Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Mercedes GP The Observer Motor sport Read more Ferrari Share on Twitter Since you’re here… news Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Lewis Hamiltonlast_img read more