Midseason Position Grades: Running Back

first_imgIt would be hard to come up with a more maligned topic of conversation among Oklahoma State fans over the last couple of years than the Cowboys’ running game.3.51, 3.58, and 3.43.Those numbers represent the average yards per carry for the OSU offenses in 2014, 2015 and through the first half of 2016. Each one equally disappointing and each one ranking ninth ahead of only Kansas in the Big 12.The Cowboys haven’t enjoyed a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Randle cruised to 1,417 in 2012. A school that used to be known as Tailback U hasn’t had a running game that could get out of its own way in three years.But it looks like there might be a mini-renaissance occurring in Stillwater and it starts with a true freshman named Justice Hill. With a crowded running back group that included three seniors and a sophomore who got meaningful time last year, Hill would have made good a redshirt candidate. But he had other plans.Those plans included playing himself into meaningful reps during fall camp and then playing himself into an early starting role, despite a couple mistimed fumbles. It’s clear Hill is the best option to get the bulk of the carries. He’s shown the ability to not only make defenders miss but to attack the hole and has the type of break-away speed that can turn decent runs into big plays.Let’s take a look at his numbers:Hill: 403 yards / three touchdowns / 4.63 yards per carryIf we assume Hill continues to get 15-20 carries per game (let’s make it 15) and keeps his current average per carry, that’s an additional 486.15 yards (assuming the Cowboys go Bowling) for a total of 889.15. So, let’s round up and call it 890 yards. Chris Carson, the Cowboys’ 2015 lead rusher ended with 517 yards and 2014’s lead rusher was Desmond Roland with 770 yards. In 2013, Roland had 811. So Hill is not quite on pace to hit the 1,000-yard mark but he does have a good change to be the leading rusher since Joseph Randle.Here’s how the rest of the group has fared so far: Childs: 178 yards / six touchdowns / 4.81 yards per carryCarr: 86 yards / one touchdown / 8.60 yards per carryCarson (in two games): 45 yards / one touchdown / 3.75 per carrySanders: 41 yards / two touchdowns / 1.95 yards per carryBehind the freshman is another seemingly unlikely No. 2 back. Rennie Childs has looked as good this season as we’ve probably seen him. Again, if you were to look at my projected depth chart for the running backs two months ago, it would have been way off.I saw Childs as the odd man out with Chris Carson the starter from last year and Barry J. Sanders the supposed difference-making transfer. Of course, Carson has been injured and Carr seems to be the one lost in the mix with just ten carries from the backfield in six games. Sanders has looked good sparingly from the backfield and on special teams.Based on OSU’s recent history with running back production, I think we can grade this group on a curve. A B+ was the grade our writers came up with and that’s what I picked as well. There are definitely improvements to be made but we’ve seen a trend in the right direction.2016gradesWhile it’s taken longer than most would like, the running game is improving. We can see it on the field. Blocking is getting better and so is running back play. Whether it’s in the second half of this season or next year,  I think we’ll see it on the stat sheet as well.RB Grade: B+ While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

James Washington Earns Midseason All-American Honors from ESPN

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. ESPN released their midseason All-American Team earlier this week, and Oklahoma State star wideout James Washington has earned midseason honors. Washington is the only representative from the Big 12 conference on the list.Washington ranks ninth nationally in receiving yards per game, and ranks No. 2 nationally in that same category since week 3 after a slow start to the season.Through 6 games, he already has 36 receptions for 731 yards through the air and 6 touchdowns, averaging a gaudy 20.3 yards per catch nearly matching the 20.5 he finished with last season.Oklahoma State also placed two players on the midseason All-Big 12 list in senior safety Jordan Sterns, and junior defensive tackle Vincent Taylor.last_img read more

WATCH: Mike Gundy Dances in Locker Room after Knocking off No. 10 West Virginia

first_imgMike Gundy had a pretty good day today. Not only did his unranked Cowboys knock off No. 10 West Virginia in homecoming, but he also earned his 100th career win as the Oklahoma State head coach.That calls for celebration.When you win your 100th career game on Homecoming, you #GundyDance #okstate #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/6ssJ3ymcxi— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 29, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Zach Sinor Unfazed About Being A Ray Guy Finalist, Shares How He Got To OSU

first_imgOne of Oklahoma State’s best players is a guy you may not have heard much about — punter Zach Sinor. The sophomore punter from Castroville, Texas is ranked No. 31 in the NCAA in yards per punt at 43.0. More importantly he’s pinned the other team inside their own 20 yard line 26 times in 2016, tied for No. 3 in the nation. He’s also somehow only had one touchback.He’s also up as a finalist for the Ray Guy award, given to the nation’s best punter. The ‘Seisman’, if you will. Here’s the list of finalists for the 2016 Ray Guy Award.Austin Barnes (Jr.), Eastern Michigan UniversityNicholas Conte (Sr.), University of VirginiaSteven Coutts (So.), University of Louisiana at LafayetteJoseph Davidson (Jr.), Bowling Green State UniversityMichael Dickson (So.), University of TexasHayden Hunt (Sr.), Colorado State UniversityCameron Johnston (Sr.), Ohio State UniversityZach Sinor (So.), Oklahoma State UniversityJohnny Townsend (Jr.), University of FloridaMitch Wishnowsky (So.), University of UtahSinor didn’t seem too worried about winning the award when asked about it at the on Monday.“I don’t really look into that stuff,” said Sinor. “Yeah, the awards will come, but my job is to pin them back and help the defense out the best I can.”He actually attended several Ray Guy camps growing up which is pretty funny.“I watched his film,” said Sinor of the Ray Guy camps. He gives you a little disc to watch. A lot of drops, directional punting, he really broke it down which helped me a lot.“As a freshman [in high school] I was a QB and a defensive tackle, a little odd. But my sophomore year I was kicking the ball around one day, and they said you’re the punter. Then I was on JV as the punter, and I hit a 45- 50-yard punt, so then they said you’re on varsity.“So after that I averaged like 39 my sophomore year on varsity. So after that I went to a Ray Guy camp, and they said ‘you have a pretty big leg. You can probably kick in college.’ So I kept working at it and now I’m here.”“During spring ball, whenever that was, I saw him throwing it around one day and he throws it pretty good,” said head coach Mike Gundy of his former QB-turned-punter. “If we were smart, we’d probably have a fake punt with him throwing the ball. But, it’s kind of like with James Castleman – the season’s not over yet.”The punter is pretty much the least glamorous position on the field, but Sinor has been huge for Oklahoma State in several close games this year — in the Iowa State game, the Tech game this last weekend, Sinor flipped the field in some big spots.“I just know where we’re at in the field at all times, so if we’re inside the 45-yard line, I’ll go the net and do some pooch punts and if we’re outside of that I’ll just work on regular punts,” added Sinor.An extra 10-15 yards can be enormous for Glenn Spencer and his defense especially when Sinor never kicks it into the end zone. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Social Media Reaction to Baker Mayfield’s Arrest

first_imgAn OU football player was arrested on Friday. No that’s not a joke. It’s happened again.Baker Mayfield drank too much and got tackled by an Arkansas cop. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like anyone was put in danger because of Mayfield’s actions.Twinter lit up with commentary of course, though, and this isn’t the best of what we saw.To be real. Nobody in SEC country has caught him until now. Fayetteville PD jumps into top 25 now.— Jeremy Walker (@jwalk130) February 25, 2017Well, you may be on to something here…Yurcich- “Gundy, I know how we can win bedlam!”Gundy- “How?”Yurcich- “Hire 11 cops to play defense.” pic.twitter.com/vcLmv0USCC— Alex Luft (@alexgluft) February 25, 2017Eh, it was worth a shot. #SourcesSources confirm: Mike Gundy is not recruiting the police officer who tackled Mayfield.— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) February 25, 2017This… While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Cop must’ve run a 4.4 40, catching him from behind and all. https://t.co/5P7eDBAIgT— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2017Maybe, that officer still has a chance.Arkansas should definitely sign whichever cop caught a fleeing Baker Mayfield. Best defense played by any Razorback this year.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 25, 2017At least he (hopefully) had a good time earlier in the evening.I can confirm that Dickson Street > Campus Corner https://t.co/V4KwEH29QI— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) February 25, 2017Clay Travis from the top rope.Positive for Oklahoma fans is at least Baker Mayfield wasn’t charged with punching any women. Might have cost him a half against UTEP.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 25, 2017Always best to look at the bright side.Underrated part about the Baker Mayfield arrest is the booking time. 8:21 AM. First guy in the jail. NFL scouts love that work ethic. pic.twitter.com/i6PV2S5vJi— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) February 25, 2017Legal problems are serious business in Norman.Breaking: Bob Stoops announces that Baker Mayfield will be suspended for second half of OU spring game— Eric T (@Taylorical) February 25, 2017That’s not great.When you chug your whole Sex On The Beach and finish it off with a Gatorade shot!!! #Rage #Unable #BdaketfrMaygiueld pic.twitter.com/XxLwl9uleU— OKState Probs (@OKStateProbs) February 25, 2017In all seriousness, I agree with this.This isn’t to condemn Mayfield, but you can’t use the “typical college behavior” excuse on a non-typical college student. False argument.— StillyDad (@StillH2Odad) February 25, 2017last_img read more

Barca equal La Liga unbeaten record

first_imgBarcelona Barcelona equal record for unbeaten La Liga run Joe Wright 06:40 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Barcelona - cropped Getty Images Barcelona Primera División Ernesto Valverde Guardiola Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Barcelona v Girona Girona Real Sociedad The La Liga leaders have surpassed the club record for an unbeaten run in the league, set under Pep Guardiola Barcelona have equalled the record for the longest unbeaten run in a single La Liga season.The leaders reached 32 games without defeat in the top flight with a 6-1 thumping of Catalan neighbours Girona at Camp Nou on Saturday.Luis Suarez completed his hat-trick after Lionel Messi’s brilliant first-half brace and Philippe Coutinho scored his first league goal for Barca in spectacular fashion. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The run matches that of Real Sociedad back in 1979-80.Sociedad’s total undefeated streak lasted 38 games, running from April 1979 through May 1980, meaning Barcelona is still six games off equalling the La Liga mark that extends beyond a single season. Barca’s run surpasses their previous club record of 31 games in a row without defeat, which was set back in 2010-11, when Pep Guardiola’s side won 27 games and drew four between matchday three and 33 of the season.They have only lost three times in all competitions since Ernesto Valverde took charge — dropping both legs of the Supercopa de Espana against Real Madrid in August and losing 2-1 to Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final, although they advanced 2-1 on aggregate.32 – Barcelona have lost none of their last 32 league matches (W27 D5), the second ever unbeaten run of any side (Real Sociedad, 38 between April 1979 and May 1980). Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/wsrcvn3kS6— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 24, 2018Barca’s victory against Girona sees them stay top of the table, with 20 wins and five draws from 25 games. They lead second-placed Atletico Madrid by 10 points.The club go to take sole possession of the single-season unbeaten record Thursday away to Las Palmas.last_img read more

Aubameyang returns for Arsenal

first_imgArsenal Arsenal team news: Aubameyang returns to lead line v Watford Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:38 11/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Arsenal vs. Everton Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Arsenal v Watford Watford The Gunners also hand starts to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny following their midweek victory over AC Milan Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns to the Arsenal line-up against Watford on Sunday.The Gabon international was cup-tied for the Europa League victory over AC Milan on Thursday, but returns to the fold against the Hornets, with the Gunners aiming to halt a run of three straight Premier League defeats.Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny both come in while Rob Holding starts at centre back in place of rested vice-captain Laurent Koscielny. Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers are on the substitutes bench following their midweek exertions while Aaron Ramsey and the aforementioned Koscielny are not in the squad altogether.Meanwhile, Watford captain Troy Deeney starts upfront after his comments about Arsenal lacking cojones following the 2-1 win at Vicarage Road in October. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Watford benefitted from a penalty decision against the Gunners, and won the match with a last-minute Tom Cleverley goal, and Deeney revelled in the victory afterwards.”I’ve heard Wenger’s already blaming (the decision) as the reason why they lost,” he said at the time. “I’m not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason why they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty.”I’ll have to watch what I say. It’s (having) a bit of cojones, a bit of nuts.”Gunners boss Arsene Wenger responded ahead of the game, saying: “They got a cheap penalty from a good dive.”We’ll respond to him on the pitch [on Sunday].”Arsenal XI: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Xhaka; Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang. Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Willock, Nelson, Wilshere, Nketiah, Welbeck.Watford XI: Karnezis; Femenía, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucouré, Capoue; Janmaat, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney.  Subs: Bachmann, Britos, Hughes, Carrillo, Sinclair, Gray, Okaka. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Larry Joubert Announces Retirement from Football Due to Medical Condition

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Redshirt senior Larry Joubert announced his retirement from football on Monday evening, citing a heart condition “that came up recently” that will ultimately cut short his Oklahoma State career.Joubert signed with OSU out of NEO in 2017 as an offensive lineman. He redshirted hisw first season and later switched to Cowboy back after the 2018 season.“It makes me sad to make this post,” he said on Twitter. “I am no longer able to play the sport I love to play due to a heart condition that came up recently. I’m still in healthy condition but it’s too dangerous to continue to play football at the level I am at. It’s hard to talk about something you’re going to lose forever because this was my last year of eligibility, and also my first love in athletics. I will continue to support my brothers on the field and off the field and will be thankful for the opportunity of a lifetime playing at this level for this school.”Joubert was a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class for OSU. After missing on a number of recruits — and after offensive line pledges Adrian Wolford, Derek Kerstetter and Dan More all flipped to other schools, ultimately leading to Greg Adkins’ dismissal — Joubert was offered a late slot in the recruiting class by Gundy shortly after national signing day. He played sparingly in 2018 on offense and on special teams, and last played in the Liberty Bowl.With Joubert’s retirement comes opportunity for others in the Cowboy Back room. Jelani Woods figures to be a big piece in the positional future, and Jake Ross, Dayton Metcalf and even freshman Grayson Boomer could now be in line for extended reps this season in his absence.last_img read more

Dru Brown’s Winding Journey That Led Him to Oklahoma State

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. STILLWATER — When Hawaii granted Dru Brown his release in the summer of 2018, it was a junior college connection that led him to Oklahoma State.Brown had started 22 games in two years with the Rainbow Warriors where he threw for 5,273 yards and scored 43 total touchdowns when he took to social media, stating he received his release. In the post, he thanked his coaches and Hawaii as a whole before announcing he would graduate and transfer elsewhere.Among the replies of gratitude and well-wishes, there was Sione Finefeuiaki. Brown and Finefeuiaki were teammates for a season at the College of San Mateo, and Finefeuiaki, a cowboy back at OSU in 2017 and 2018, had an idea as to where his former teammate should transfer:SmartSelect_20190812-100520_Instagram“I didn’t think he’d actually pursue it because at the time, Dru had places like Washington State, LSU and other places offer him, as well,” Finefeuiaki, who played two seasons at OSU in 2017 and 2018, told PFB in an interview this week. “I never thought that he’d actually come to OSU. I kind of did it jokingly, but we talked and found out he was serious about it and we kind of went from there.”From there, Finefeuiaki passed Brown’s tape to OSU player development specialist Beni Tonga, where the idea of Brown coming to Stillwater got shot up the line.“I talked to Beni,” Finefeuiaki said. “At first, I would bring it up, and Beni was like, ‘OK.’ Then I asked Beni the next day. I was like, ‘Beni, did you check out his film?’ Beni would say that he was going to but he hadn’t looked at it yet.“So, I kind of bugged Beni about it. Beni, he also helps with the cowboy backs, so I built a pretty good relationship with Beni. I kept bugging Beni about it, telling Beni that this guy’s the real deal. I showed him Dru’s highlight tape from Hawaii, and if you’ve seen Dru’s highlight tape from Hawaii, the man goes off. I guess Beni finally got to it, and he’s able to show (Mike) Yurcich and (Mike) Gundy, and it kind of went from there.”Brown and Finefeuiaki are both from the Bay Area in California. Finefeuiaki said the two played against each other in high school before teaming up at the College of San Mateo. In Brown’s one season with the Bulldogs, he threw for 1,879 yards and 21 touchdowns in a triple-option offense. In his final game at the junior college level, Brown threw for 425 yards and seven scores.That 2015 season was Finefeuiaki’s first of two with the Bulldogs. That season, he played as a linebacker before moving to fullback in 2016. Despite being on opposite sides of the ball, Finefeuiaki said it wasn’t hard becoming friends with Brown.“Dru was just really open,” Finefeuiaki said. “It’s pretty easy to build a relationship with Dru. Most of our goals kind of aligned. We both wanted to go big Division I. Dru is really deep into his faith. Dru’s one of those guys where it’s just easy to click with him.”After Finefeuiaki got Brown’s foot in the door, Brown said he was able to talk on the phone with OSU coach Mike Gundy and then-offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. Brown took a visit and decided to use his final season of eligibility away from the beaches of Hawaii or comfort of Northern California in Stillwater.The transition wasn’t as seamless as it appears — and it still isn’t. Sure, Mason Rudolph was headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers after starting games for the Cowboys in the past four seasons. But, Brown was joining the team the same time All-Texas everything quarterback Spencer Sanders was, and fifth-year senior Taylor Cornelius was still at OSU after learning under Rudolph for four seasons.After being Hawaii’s guy the past two seasons, Brown was limited to one snap at OSU in 2018, and it only came because Cornelius’ helmet came off in the Liberty Bowl. Not many grad transfers’ idea of a dream start at a Power 5 school.‘I’m a firm believer that it’s beautiful everywhere’Stillwater summers are what you make them.For some, it’s a boring town to be in during June and July as a good chunk of the population leaves when the school year ends. Others embrace the serenity of things, something Dru Brown did this summer.Brown is from San Mateo, California, which is between San Francisco and San Jose. When he was looking for something to do in the middle of America, he turned to offensive linemen Johnny Wilson, a Texan, and Ry Schneider, an Oklahoman.“Can you guys teach me how to fish? Because I’ve never been fishing before,” Brown asked.“I had to fix the pole a couple times, but he got the hang of it,” Wilson said of Brown’s first outing. “He’s getting better. He’s good. He can throw an open face now, he can throw the spinner, so it’s good.”For four straight days Brown didn’t catch a thing, but he said he was adamant on at least catching something before he turned this new hobby down. Then he finally got one.Well DAG-GUM 🐠🐟 pic.twitter.com/J3lvX4k4OT— Dru Brown (@dbrownTNDO) July 27, 2019“As soon as I caught something, it was like an addiction,” Brown said. “We’ve gone a bunch. Obviously, camp started, so we can’t go out as much. I’m sure that me and Johnny will go as soon as we get a day off here soon.”Oklahoma is not California, and it’s certainly not Hawaii. Although Oklahoma might not have California’s weather or Hawaii’s beaches, Brown said the state has its own appeal and beauty.“It’s just different,” Brown said. “I’m a firm believer that it’s beautiful everywhere,” he adds. “Being from California, the transition to Hawaii was different, but the transition out here was really different.“If I didn’t have to sit last year, and sit behind Corn, I would have never, probably, fished ever. It’s just a blessing in disguise. Me being out here for a year, and me getting involved in things people do out here, it’s beautiful in its own way, for sure.”The End of Brown’s Well-Traveled Collegiate CareerOSU has yet to name a starting QB, and it appears the two will likely share snaps early in the season. Still, there are more ways for Brown to prove himself as a college QB than just touchdowns and victories.“Leadership, I think that’s one thing Dru was able to do with this offseason,” Finefeuiaki said. “He was able to show his leadership because when Dru came last year, he came right at fall camp. Nobody really knew who Dru was. Whereas this year, he had the whole offseason to show his work ethic and all that. His faith, his leadership, his accountability and just how hard he works. The guy’s always putting the extra work in. … I don’t think there’s anybody who works harder than Dru.”What might’ve been originally been just one year for Brown in Stillwater quickly turned into two, as he was able to take advantage of the new rule that allows players to play in up to four games while still retaining a redshirt. He went about his business, spent a year in OSU’s system and now might start for one of the best offenses in the country.There aren’t enough fish in Lake McMurtry to match that kind of anticipation.last_img read more

Vincent Taylor Cut by the Miami Dolphins

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 came and went on Saturday afternoon with no bad news coming to Vincent Taylor, the third-year defensive tackle from Oklahoma State. But, apparently, that did not mean he was safe.In a somewhat surprising move, Miami Dolphins’ brass waived Taylor, the team announced Monday.Taylor never became a featured linemen in Miami’s front and dealt with two major injuries in his first two seasons. But when he saw the field, he made an impact.The former All-Big 12 standout graded out as one of the best defensive linemen in the league, and he brought his knack for blocking kicks to the pros.Vincent Taylor earned strong grades over his first two seasons in the league:2017 – 84.1 overall (185 snaps)2018 – 76.3 overall (204 snaps) *In that time Taylor racked up 28 defensive stops and missed just 1 tackle #Dolphins #FinsUp https://t.co/O0zAbQaSTZ— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 2, 2019When he was placed on the injured reserve list midway through last season, he was the No. 2-rated D-lineman in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.Buzz coming from South Florida seemed to indicate that Taylor didn’t fit what new head coach Brian Flores and new DC Patrick Graham wanted to do scheme-wise. Still, releasing a developing, highly-graded prospect still on a rookie contract seems to be an odd move.last_img read more

Notebook: Jelani Woods on Offensive Involvement, and OL Reshuffles

first_imgSTILLWATER — This season of Cowboy football has brought plenty of talking points.From Chuba Hubbard’s rampant pace, a young but promising gunslinger, an experienced offensive line and an inexperienced defensive line, things certainly aren’t boring.Members of the Oklahoma State football team met with the media after practice Tuesday before the Cowboys bout with Kansas State this weekend. Here are a few of the topics that were discussed.Woods Not Concerned with Lack of Targets to this PointJelani Woods has been a fan-favorite since his move from quarterback to tight end, but he hasn’t appeared much on the stat sheet in his redshirt sophomore season.Until Saturday, when Woods made his first two catches of the season. Woods’ two snags were good for 22 yards against Texas. Although Woods is just getting in on the passing game this season, he has been impressive in his progression as a blocker.On Tuesday, Woods said it was fun to get involved in the passing game, but it isn’t all that he’s after.“I was pretty happy about it, but it really didn’t mean too much to me,” Woods said. “I got a lot of opportunities, just different teams play different coverages. So, of course I’m not going to get it always, so I’m not really upset about that or anything.”Woods was also involved in the controversial fake field-goal attempt. It didn’t work, but Woods touched on the topic a bit Thursday.“I was pretty excited on the inside because I was like, ‘It’s time to make a play,’” Woods said. “I was pretty excited. I’ve watched multiple times just to see what I could do better the make that play work.”Tuihalamaka Making StridesSamuela Tuihalamaka is leading OSU’s interior defensive linemen in tackles four games in, and most of those have come in the past two weeks.A redshirt freshman from Riverside, California, Tuihalamaka had only two tackles entering the Tulsa game, but he’s had 10 total tackles in the past two games. His 12 tackles this season rank ninth on the team and is second among all defensive linemen. However, Brock Martin is the only other D-lineman ahead of Tuihalamaka, and Martin sometimes lines up as a linebacker.“I kinda got a grip of it,” Tuihalamaka said. “I had guidance from the older guys like Cam Murray, Brendon Evers, Brock, Michael Scott, all them guys that played and a couple other guys back then like Enoch (Smith), Darrion (Daniels), all them guys. They kinda showed me the ropes a little bit.”Marcus Keyes Talks Offensive Line ShuffleDylan Galloway left the Texas game with an injury, and it forced some reshuffling for the Cowboys up front.Teven Jenkins filled Galloway’s spot at left tackle. Bryce Bray moved from right guard to right tackle. Then Ry Schneider came in and filled Bray’s open guard spot. Galloway’s status heading into Saturday is unknown.“Dylan, he’s doing his treatment; he’s going to try to come back as fast as possible,” Marcus Keyes said. “We’re going to do better as an offensive line to get everybody rolling.”The Texas game wasn’t an outstanding performance for OSU’s O-line. Star running back Chuba Hubbard couldn’t find many of the lanes he has found in recent weeks, as on 37 attempts, Hubbard averaged only 3.3 yards per carry.“We just need to finish our blocks more,” Keyes said. “That’s all we need to do. We just need to come off and finish, don’t let people cross our face. That’s all.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

OSU Unveils New Throwback Brand Helmet for Homecoming

first_imgAs pointed out by Justin Southwell, OSU is 9-1 when wearing an orange jersey since 2016 and this is the first time we’ve seen it since last year’s homecoming win over No. 6 Texas. Hopefully that trend continues against No. 18 Baylor. This is the first time OSU has gone O-O-W since all the back in 2012 in a win over Texas Tech.The helmet is the cherry on top. I love the “Orange Power” on the front bumper.For those of you keeping score, in this week’s uniform predix both Southwell and Kyle Porter nailed the O-O-W combo with Southwell predicting a throwback brand on an orange lid. (He predicted the 1977-79 helmet so was off by a year but I’ll allow it.) While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. I said it earlier this week but OSU’s equipment staff absolutely killing it with their Homecoming helmet goes hand-in-hand with death and taxes. This year is no different.The Cowboys are donning an orange-orange-white combination with a new version of the throwback brand helmet that is 👌👌👌.This year’s Homecoming throwback helmet honors the #OKState teams of the 70’s• 1974 Fiesta Bowl Champions• 1976 Big Eight Champions• 1976 Tangerine Bowl Champions• 2-Time All-America selection and Heisman runner-up Terry Miller🔶 #GoPokes | #OKStateHC ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/FTNZeCGl5F— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 19, 2019last_img read more

Made to Stick Week: Finding Your Core aka Sweet Spot

first_imgYears ago, my dad once gave me some really good advice about relationships – stick with people who bring out the best in you. Better yet it should work both ways – that you bring out the best in the other person too. I wish I’d followed this wise counsel my whole life. Don’t worry, you haven’t stumbled upon Dr. Phil’s blog. I’m getting to my point, and the theme of my blog for the next week.When we’re thinking about how to market ourselves as organizations, we need to think about what’s best in us, and how it matches with what our audience wants. I put up the following nifty little diagram a long time ago, but it is worth running again. It shows that you want to focus all your efforts on the marketing front – and the organizational front – on the intersection between:-What your organization focuses upon (which is hopefully what you’re good at)-What you do better than anyone else (what is completely unique about you)-What your audience cares aboutI think we’re pretty good at identifying the first two but we tend to forget that third circle. PLEASE ADD THE THIRD CIRCLE TO ALL OF YOUR STRATEGIC THINKING. Ron of BrandCurve posted a comment this week about email that takes it a step further – not only should you add the circle, he says you should then start a conversation. I agree.I think the real issue behind email effectiveness [all marketing, I’d say — KA] is the consumer’s willingness to participate and receive that mail [message]. Intrusive, one-way, monologue-like messages where the consumer has no say – are sure to stay closed! We want a relationship with our target audiences, so to have that relationship, we need to not only think about ourselves but also how we intersect with them. We need to bring our audience back into the picture. The center of this diagram is our sweet spot, in our relationship with our audience but also for our organization in all we do. It’s what will bring out the best in us!I am focusing on this sweet spot, which is based on the work of some branding folks and which is related to Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept, because it’s also at the core of the best marketing book that I have read in a very, very long time: Made to Stick. I am so enamored with this book, I am going to be blogging about it all week. It’s Sticky Week here at my blog.One of the main points of Made to Stick is that simple, core concepts are what stick in people’s minds and guide whole organizations, and I think this is a useful way of viewing the idea of the sweet spot. The authors of Made to Stick call the process of identifying this essence, “finding your core.” So what is your core, aka your sweet spot? If you stuck to it – and only it – in deciding what to do and what to say, you might find yourself with a renewed sense of focus and heightened impact. The books says Southwest Airlines succeeds in large part as an organization because it knows its sweet spot is low fares. Every decision is weighed against this organizing principle — will this lower fares?Much more to come.last_img read more

‘Belgium players raring to go after England rest’

first_imgWorld Cup Belgium players raring to go after England rest – Martinez Iain Strachan 00:27 7/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Roberto Martinez Belgium 10302017 Getty Images World Cup Belgium v Japan Japan Belgium The Red Devils boss has a hungry squad ready to face Japan in the last 16 after giving many of his key men a break in a final group stage fixture Belgium coach Roberto Martinez says all of his players are desperate to be on the pitch ahead of the World Cup round-of-16 clash with Japan in Rostov-on-Don.Having sealed passage from Group G with a match remaining, Martinez made sweeping changes to his starting XI for the 1-0 win over a similarly fringe England team in Kaliningrad.Finishing top with a 100 per cent record earned Belgium a meeting with the Samurai Blue at Rostov Arena, where a host of first-choice stars, including Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, are likely to return for kick-off.   Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “The group is in a very good moment mentally and physically, the players are desperate to be on the pitch,” Martinez told a news conference.”The ones who played against England had a really good experience. And the ones who were rested are waiting to get back on the pitch. “The players are ready to get the rhythm as fast as they can.” Belgium defeated Japan 1-0 in a friendly in November, but Akira Nishino has since replaced the sacked Vahid Halilhodzic at the helm of the team.”The biggest difference is the change of coach,” Martinez said of his team’s opponents.”In essence they are exactly the same, great energy, organised. “This Japan team shows there is a generation with a very good age. A lot of experience, they’ve played in Europe’s big leagues for a long time. “They know what it takes to win. [Takashi] Inui had a fantastic time in Eibar. They know what they’re doing on the pitch. “We’ll have to be concentrating at all time because of their dynamic approach and the amount of players they can accumulate in both boxes.”Belgium World Cup 2018Martinez confirmed Belgium have been practising penalties, but should the game go down to a shootout, the Spaniard knows no amount of training can replicate the pressure his players will be under.”I think you have to be prepared for everything,” he said.”It’s important not to underestimate the occasion. “The players have been practicing but nothing will prepare you for taking the penalty that will get you through to the next phase in the knockout stages of the World Cup.”last_img read more

League-leaders Liverpool cruise past Wolves

first_imgMohamed Salah scored one goal and made another as Liverpool won 2-0 at Wolves to guarantee they will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day.The leaders toiled for much of Friday’s clash at a sodden Molineux, with in-form Wolves having won their last three league games to move up to seventh.But Salah’s 11th Premier League goal of the season, meaning the Egypt star is now leading the race for the Golden Boot, set up Liverpool’s sixth straight win in all competitions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And when Salah crossed for Virgil van Dijk to stab home his first Premier League goal for the club in the 68th minute, Liverpool extended their lead over Manchester City to four points, although Naby Keita’s injury was a sour note on a professional performance.THAT. MAN. MO. #WOLLIV pic.twitter.com/tgNzJP5FZk— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 21, 2018Adama Traore fired early warning shots either side of Alisson’s goal as Liverpool started poorly.Alisson also made an untidy save from Romain Saiss but Liverpool led in the 18th minute.After Wolves failed to clear a set-piece, Fabinho swapped passes with Sadio Mane and drilled a low cross that Salah flicked home with the outside of his left boot.The hosts continued to threaten, with Jonny Castro Otto and Matt Doherty denied by Alisson before half-time.Salah fired narrowly over the crossbar after the restart, before Keita limped out of the fray with what might be feared to be a recurrence of his back injury. His 58th-minute replacement Adam Lallana was then kept out by Rui Patricio.Liverpool clinched the points when Salah’s dipping centre from the right was finished brilliantly by a stretching Van Dijk, and although Georginio Wijnaldum shot wide in stoppage time the Reds still piled pressure on champions City.BIG Virgil loved that one!! #WOLLIV pic.twitter.com/cTvnP5vKUG— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 21, 2018 What does it mean? Keita injury a blow for leadersLiverpool march on but Jurgen Klopp will be concerned about Keita as the midfielder was clearly in pain when replaced by Lallana. Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are already injured, while Trent Alexander-Arnold watched from the stands with supporters. And while the Reds will be top at Christmas, the last team to claim that number one spot without going on to win the Premier League title were Liverpool in 2013-14.Salah makes the difference againLiverpool continue to rely heavily on star man Salah, but he keeps delivering. With five goals in his last four appearances, Salah is hitting top form again after a slow start to the season. The cross for Van Dijk’s strike was a peach and Salah’s celebrations were no longer muted.Traore target practice neededWolves, without Diogo Jota due to a hamstring injury, threatened throughout but two of their best chances came in the first 10 minutes and Traore failed to test Alisson with either effort. Preferred to rising star Morgan Gibbs-White, who hit the side-netting late on after coming on as a substitute, Traore needs to be more reliable in front of goal as his end product is often lacking.Key Opta Facts11 – Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has now scored more @premierleague goals than any other player this season (11). Phenomenal. #WOLLIV pic.twitter.com/B42tU8imS6— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 21, 2018- Only two teams – Chelsea in 2005-06 (49) and Man City in 2017-18 (52) – have had more points after 18 Premier League games in a season than Liverpool do this term (48).- Wolves have lost four of their last six home league matches – as many as in their previous 34 combined at Molineux.- Since the start of last season, Salah has found the net against 20 of the 22 teams he has faced with Liverpool in the Premier League, failing only against Manchester United and Swansea City.- Liverpool are unbeaten in 10 top-flight away games (W8 D2) – their best run in the Premier League and longest since also going 10 unbeaten between October 1991 and February 1992.- Klopp has now defeated all 32 of the British clubs he’s faced as Liverpool boss in all competitions – before Friday, Wolves were the only side he had failed to beat, losing in the FA Cup in January 2017 in their only previous meeting.What’s next?Both teams are back in action on Boxing Day, with Liverpool hosting Newcastle United while Wolves go to Fulham as the Premier League’s busy festive schedule continues. read morelast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal boss Emery confirms axing Ozil; pushed about selling German in January

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery confirms axing Ozil; pushed about selling German in Januaryby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admits he dropped Mesut Ozil for their Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham.Ozil failed to make the matchday squad for last night’s 2-0 reverse.Emery explained: “It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.”Asked if Ozil was at the Emirates for the game, Emery continued: “Yes.”We are thinking of every player. We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.”Emery was then pushed about whether Ozil could be sold next month.”My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.”I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.” last_img read more

Vine: Kansas Freshman Cliff Alexander Posterized Oklahoma State’s Anthony Allen Jr.

first_imgCliff Alexander dunks on Anthony Allen Jr.VineFreshman forward Cliff Alexander entered his season at Kansas with huge expectations, but he hasn’t gotten off to a huge start yet this season. The Chicago native is only playing 18.4 minutes per game, and averaging 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. However, last night against Oklahoma State, Alexander looked every bit like the explosive forward that he was billed as coming out of high school. Early in the game with his Jayhawks down five, Alexander bullied senior wing Le’Bryan Nash on the block, and then absolutely posterized forward Anthony Allen Jr. We’re not even sure if Alexander touches rim here, or if he just powerfully threw the ball into the hoop, but either way it was awesome. Kansas defeated Oklahoma State 67-57.[@cjzero]last_img