Michael Murphy in action at O’Donnell Park on SundayBY CATHAL Mac SUIBHNE, THE VOICE OF THE FANS: A second defeat in a week for Donegal but there won’t be too many alarm bells ringing. Rather than disappointment or worry, the main vibe in the air after yesterday’s game was respect and admiration for an excellent performance from an emerging Roscommon team.They started as they meant to go on, running powerfully at the hosts and giving an exhibition in point taking from distance.Donegal had no answer early on. The home side looked lethargic and off the pace which was in complete contrast to the opposition. Coming into the game on a three game winning run, the men jointly managed by Fergal O’Donnell and Kevin McStay, brought verve and a buccaneering spirit to their play.The direct style of running caused numerous problems for Donegal, with players penalised time and again by referee Padraig Hughes. Perhaps after last week’s messing in Tralee, the man in the middle was intent on having an incident-free afternoon and there was barely a tackle of note from either side at O’Donnell Park.The free-taking from Ciaran Murtagh and Fintan Cregg along with the accuracy of others from play saw them surge clear in the opening half and the spread of scorers they had was an important facet of their victory. They generally tried to attack down the centre before popping off passes to either side; it didn’t seem to matter which player was on the end of these moves as point and after point landed over Peter Boyle’s crossbar.In similar situations, Donegal usually try to find the likes of Michael Murphy, Paddy McBrearty or Odhran MacNiallais to get shots away and it is a great credit to O’Donnell and McStay that they are coaching such potency in their ranks. Some of their long range scores were outstanding. Roscommon also managed, on several occasions, to get inside the area between the Donegal 21 and 45 metre lines – very few teams have managed to get in there with such regularity during one match. The cordon of players acting as doormen along the 45 were unusually generous to guests in the absence of head bouncer, Hugh McFadden, a late withdrawal before throw in. The Kilybegs man was sorely missed around that crucial area of the field he usually patrols, where he offers such security and assuredness.Rory Gallagher was quick to make changes on the line in an effort to stem the tide. He took off both Anthony Thompson and Eamon McGee, two stalwarts of the famed Donegal defence. While they were being treated to somewhat of a roasting by their direct opponents, it was more likely a case of isolated poor displays from each rather than any seminal watershed moment signalling their respective declines.Rory instructed his players to push up on the Roscommon kick out from the off but Donegal struggled in this aspect and often there was a man in blue free to receive possession from goalkeeper Geoffrey Claffey.At the other end, net minder Boyle utilised the short kick-out much more than in previous games, particularly in the first quarter but with a sluggish defence in front of him, Donegal rarely made much headway. Roscommon were quick to get to grips with the short option and a long kick-out lottery ensued.One major positive did emerge despite defeat and that was the return of the evergreen Karl Lacey. Getting more game time than was probably planned due to Eamonn Doherty’s blood injury and McGee’s early withdrawal, Lacey looked as if he had never been away. Playing his first game for Donegal since the Mayo defeat in August, he showed that while the boots may have changed from white to orange, the class still remains. Mark McHugh also made his seasonal bow and to have two All Stars back in the fray gives even more depth to an already competitive panel.Lacey and McHugh helped shore up the defence to a certain extent following their introductions but with Roscommon happy to sit back in the second period and play on the counter, they did pick off some easy scores.Donegal made a valiant effort at a comeback, with Murphy dragging what he could from himself and his team-mates, almost inspiring an amazing comeback. The Glenswilly giant upped his game straight from the second half throw up, literally, as he grabbed onto two Roscommon men allowing Rory Kavanagh to take a clean catch.There was a moment of worry shortly after as Michael went to ground clutching his leg and his participation seemed in doubt. Thankfully it turned out to be a likely dead leg and two fabulous points soon after confirmed he was still up for the fight. As has happened in most league games thus far, Murph spent most of his time at midfield. His brace of scores illustrated the benefit of this as he was able to time his run coming from halfway, claim possession with a bit of steam built up and stroke the ball over between the posts.When he moved closer to goal towards the end of the game, he was wrestled and manhandled to the ground, which in fairness to the defenders in question is just about all you can do. The resulting free at the end did allow the large crowd in attendance to see as clean and as powerful a strike as they ever will; Murphy managed to beat the seven players on the goal-line but unfortunately not the crossbar.Donegal needed a goal to arrive much earlier and when they got to within two points there seemed a real chance of a win. Almost immediately however, that prospect evaporated with the needless double yellow offences from MacNiallais and a breakaway Roscommon goal putting an end to the contest.It was a difficult afternoon for Gallagher and his backroom team on the sideline. So many decisions were right but also had a robbing Peter to pay Paul feel to them.Paddy McBrearty came out to half forward in the second half to add his elusiveness and skill to the effort of breaking down the visiting defence. That though did mean that his movement and ball-winning ability was sacrificed inside and almost all of Donegal’s scores were sourced from deep rather than from any penetrating ball delivered to the full forward line.With Michael posted at midfield, Neil Gallagher was used as a target man in the forward line when his fetching ability was also needed for the aerial battle that Donegal were forced to engage in around the middle third.There’s certainly plenty to ponder for the management team but as Jim used to say, every day is a school day. There will be plenty of lessons learnt after two the recent losses with two stern examinations to follow.Dublin and Monaghan provide the opposition in the remaining fixtures with the results destined to determine the final result – either mid-table respectability or a semi-final berth.CAHAL MAC SUIBHNE’S GAA BLOG: ROSSIES EARN RESPECT BUT NO ALARM BELLS FOR DONEGAL was last modified: March 14th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cathal Mac SuibhnedonegalDonegal DailyGAA blogroscommonvoice of the fans
Arsenal Wilshere reports ‘no progress’ on Arsenal contract extension Chris Burton 16:15 1/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Transfers The England international impressed again during a derby date with Chelsea, but admits he is no nearer to committing to fresh terms with the Gunners Jack Wilshere admits “no progress” has been made regarding a possible contract extension at Arsenal.The England international has entered the final six months of his current deal at Emirates Stadium – alongside the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.Wilshere has expressed a desire to commit to fresh terms, while Arsene Wenger has promised that future talks will be held during the January transfer window. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 26-year-old has enjoyed a welcome return to favour and form of late, impressing again in a 2-2 Premier League derby draw with Chelsea, but he is no nearer to putting pen to paper.Speaking to Sky Sports after a meeting with the Blues, in which he scored, Wilshere said on his contract situation: “No progress there.“But I’m happy. I’m enjoying my football and feel I’m getting better and better each week.“We’ve got another big game at the weekend in the FA Cup [against Nottingham Forest] and then we go again in the Carabao Cup [against Chelsea] – there’s loads of games and I want to be involved in them.”Wilshere’s second-half strike at the Emirates on Wednesday was his first in the Premier League for over two years.A barren run can be partly blamed on a succession of injuries, but the all-action midfielder concedes that he needs to be offering more to the collective cause.He added: “I’m not satisfied with one goal a season, I should be scoring more than that.“I get the opportunities so hopefully that will open the gates a bit and a few more will come.”Continuing to make a telling contribution at club level should help to push Wilshere back into international reckoning.He is being billed as a candidate to fill one of the places in England’s 2018 World Cup squad, with Wenger among those talking up his claims, but focus is locked very much on the present for now.Wilshere said when quizzed on his Three Lions future: “Regarding Russia, now is not the time to start thinking about that.“I’ve got to take each game as it comes, keep playing in this team, keep improving and then we’ll see when March comes and the next international games.”
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. The most surprising part of these poll results is that those of you who voted that the Big 12 will actually thrive crept into the double digits. I told Carson this on our podcast, but I think I’m more optimistic than most about the future of the Big 12. I think I might be with the “will thrive” people.I’ve really struggled with how to think properly about this because there are so many tentacles to try and get your arms wrapped around, but the reality is that the Big 12 is currently making money. A lot of it. $300M last year ($30M to each team) and will make even more with a conference championship game.There is no incentive for anyone to go anywhere except for maybe OU (and even that is pretty debatable). The issue for the Big 12 is going to be this: Figure out how to keep pace with future contracts with TV networks on a per/team basis. You don’t have to make SEC or Big 10 money, but you do have to make per-team SEC money (which you are currently pretty close to).The issue is that now your properties are not as valuable, and those other conference are beginning to sign some outrageous contracts. So where does the Big 12 go? Does it try and contend with those conference in terms of ESPN and FOX or does it try to ink deals with, say, Netflix and Hulu? Is that a wise financial move in the future or does it just sound sexy?These are the decisions the Big 12 will have to make now that it has decided to stay at 10 teams. I think there’s a space for the Big 12 to really thrive over the next decade and beyond. I’m just not sure who I trust to find it. Tuesday poll question: Following the no expansion announcement, the Big 12 will …— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 18, 2016Let’s get to your comments.okstate1990: The B12 will be fine. The Conference, the Universities and the Networks will figure it out — there are some pretty smart people involved despite the arrogance of UT. 2025 is a long way off. There’s no need to panic and add teams (especially the ones available) just because the media and fans think they should.At some point, people may realize that the B12’s round robin schedule is the way to do it and the 14/16 member conference idea wasn’t so great. TV Networks are evolving very rapidly now; how do we know what the networks are going to even look like much less be able to afford in 9 years? It may turn out that the B12 is at an advantage only having 10 teams splitting fewer pie pieces.Levin: there are only a few P5 caliber schools not yet in a P5 conference. (BYU, Houston, Cincy) Those schools will add value to whatever conference they join, no question. The Big 12 will be fine without them for now, but will we be kicking ourselves later for not adding them when we had the chance?Chris: Wonder how other leagues are viewing the petulant behavior of OU during all this? Not a team player at all having constant tantrums since 2011. The league is dead, but I bet Ou doesn’t get an offer until Boren is gone.TJ: I think maybe the big 12 accidentally is ahead of the curve on this. They protected their recruiting base just as much their financial base.
Bowl season is fun. The players get to spend that much more time with their teammates and coaches. They get to travel with their team and some get to play in front of friends and family that may not be able to make it to Stillwater.But among the more underrated perks of a bowl trip for the players are the bowl gifts that each bowl’s officials give out. The SportsBusiness Journal has released a list for each of the 2016-17 bowl season’s games with what each player will receive.Oklahoma State and Colorado players will each received a gift set that includes: Apple Watch Nike+ (retails for around $399), $110 Best Buy gift card, myCharge HubPlus portable charger, team panoramic photo, and a mini-helmet.There is an NCAA limit of $550.00 value per person. *Of course there is.*Check out the full list to see what each bowl game’s officials give out. 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.
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. Bovada recently released their preseason Heisman Trophy odds, and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph was listed as a top-10 challenger with 12/1 odds.Rudolph is one of three Big 12 players on the list, with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield as the odds-on favorite, and Texas sophomore Shane Buechele listed at 35/1.Complete list of odds pic.twitter.com/4xBZLbLPuX— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) January 23, 2017Along with these odds from Bovado, Rudolph was most recently named a serious Heisman contender by Pro Football Focus.Needless to say, the senior signal caller will be receiving plenty of attention in his final season at OSU.
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. It looks like Chris Carson will not be the only Cowboy with a chance to impress in Indianapolis later this month. Per Robert Allen of GoPokes, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, tight end/”cowboy back” Blake Jarwin and safety Jordan Sterns have received invites to the NFL Scouting Combine.Per @RAllenGoPokes sources on Further Review just now, Vincent Taylor, Blake Jarwin & Jordan Sterns will join Chris Carson at NFL Combine.— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) February 6, 2017Vincent Taylor announced his intention to forgo his senior season to declare for the draft following OSU’s win in the Alamo Bowl. The game-changing All-Big 12 tackle led the team in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (13). According to NFL.com, Taylor holds a 5.35 draft grade (the highest grade is Myles Garrett at 7.6) and is their 17th-ranked defensive tackle.Blake Jarwin is an intriguing tight end prospect who could find himself a spot on an NFL roster. The tight end has seen a resurgence in the NFL with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce putting up gaudy numbers. Jarwin has a 5.36 draft grade according to NFL.com and is their 14th-ranked tight end.Jordan Sterns left OSU as the leading career tackler in the Mike Gundy era. He posted three 100-plus tackle seasons but will be missed as much for his leadership as his production. Sterns is a little undersized for an NFL safety which may lead into his 5.02 draft grade and No. 17 ranking among safety prospects. Like the others, he will have a chance to improve his stock with a good showing at the Combine.The Combine will be held February 28 – March 6, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Premier League Are Liverpool any worse off for selling Coutinho? Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 03:28 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Premier League Liverpool v Newcastle United Liverpool Newcastle United Opinion Klopp’s great gamble is paying off with the Reds reasonably assured of a top-four slot and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals Jurgen Klopp said pre-match that Liverpool were less predictable since Philippe Coutinho’s departure. That is not to sling mud at the Brazilian who departed for Barcelona in the January transfer window but more to reflect the fact that without one dominant playmaker opponents simply don’t know where the danger is going to come from.Klopp’s gamble in sanctioning Coutinho’s record transfer is paying off. Safely delivered through to the Champions League quarter finals – barring a cataclysmic collapse – and now second to only Manchester City in the Premier League, the manager can currently reflect on a pretty canny piece of business. All that and RB Leipzig dynamo Naby Keita to look forward to in the summer.It would be remiss to say Coutinho was holding Liverpool back or causing them a problem but there is better balance in the team since Klopp has been given the option to play with a more pragmatic midfield three. 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 Without the schemer occupying a place in the team ahead of him, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is beginning to carve out a niche instead of the Reds having one attacker too many. His work in providing Mo Salah with the opening goal against Newcastle was excellent.Salah, now safely assured of his status as signing of the season, needs no second invitation in situations like that. He has now scored in 26 separate club games for Liverpool this season – an English and top-five European league record.While Klopp was commenting on the effect on the side since Coutinho’s exit, he mentioned the form of Roberto Firmino. He may never be a bonafide poacher like Sergio Aguero but that is not what Liverpool are looking for.He fits this set-up like a glove, whether it’s leading the line or dropping in to create the play. He gave Sadio Mane the opportunity to shoot at goal for Liverpool’s second, game-killing strike.Newcastle provided exactly what was expected on one of the coldest nights to see a game this season. Rafael Benitez had his team sit deep and resist. It worked until just before half-time and a side of such limited ambition is always going to struggle to get back into a game after falling behind.These types of games have had the habit of biting Klopp on the backside throughout his Liverpool reign. This time, though, there were no mistakes and Liverpool took care of business efficiently.That Mane goal was the 200th Premier League goal of Klopp’s Liverpool reign. They have come in 97 matches. Scoring has never been a problem, rather it’s been keeping them out at the other end.The signing of Virgil van Dijk should help in that regard and, while they lost a superstar in Coutinho, they appear to have gained a bit more balance. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Liverpool 0 Porto 0 (5-0 agg): Low-key Reds book quarter-final spot Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 05:41 7/3/2018 Getty Images Liverpool booked their spot in the Champions League last eight despite an underwhelming performance against Porto. Liverpool booked their Champions League quarter-final place with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Porto at Anfield.The Reds’ lacklustre performance hardly mattered, though, after a devastating 5-0 win in Portugal three weeks ago all-but secured a first appearance in the last-eight since 2008-09.That first-leg cushion enabled Jurgen Klopp to make five changes to the side that beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday, with leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah dropping to the bench for Adam Lallana, who was making his first start in two months. 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 Sadio Mane had two clear chances to open the scoring in the first half, the second of which crashed against the post, while Dejan Lovren headed over.James Milner and Roberto Firmino also squandered opportunities in the second period and Lovren blocked a late effort from Oliver Torres to ensure the Reds remain one of three unbeaten sides in this year’s competition alongside Tottenham and Barcelona.Liverpool were a long way from their swashbuckling Premier League form and Klopp will hope they have not lost any impetus ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.#UCL last eight awaits. pic.twitter.com/2dbbpYr5VX— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018After a sluggish opening, the hosts burst into life midway through the half with Mane inches away from opening the scoring. The Senegal forward – who scored six goals in his previous three Champions League games – met Joe Gomez’s fizzed cross with an acrobatic volley, which flashed agonisingly over. Mane went even closer just after half-hour mark when he pulled Milner’s pass out of the sky and drove a low half-volley against the inside of Iker Casillas’ right-hand post. Milner was the architect again soon after, whipping in a teasing free-kick that Lovren could only head just high of the target.32: Casillas beaten but Mane’s shot strikes the post and is cleared away. Brilliant pass from Milner.[0-0]https://t.co/5rVaVEyNIn pic.twitter.com/bRmReWi66c— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018Milner had a chance of his own two minutes after the restart, but he failed to make a clean connection with Lallana’s cross and the ball bobbled harmlessly wide.Porto finally carved out an opening when Majeed Waris shrugged off the attention of two Liverpool defenders to fire a low shot towards goal, which was kept out by the under-worked Loris Karius. Firmino saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Porto captain Felipe moments before being withdrawn for Danny Ings.Salah was brought off the bench with 16 minutes remaining and, unsurprisingly, went close to adding to his 32 goals this season, though Casillas was equal to his drilled attempt.Oliver almost spoiled Liverpool’s outing late on, while Ings should have scored his first Champions League goal with a looping header that Casillas did well to paw away and keep the Reds off the scoreboard. Key Opta facts:- Iker Casillas made his 167th appearance in the Champions League, 16 more than any other player in the history of the competition (Xavi next on 151).- This was the first Champions League game this season with no first-half shots on target.- Liverpool failed to score at Anfield for the first time in their last nine games in all competitions, since a 0-0 draw against West Brom in December.- The Reds have kept five clean sheets in their last six games in the Champions League, only conceding against Sevilla in November (3-3). read more
Swansea City 0 Tottenham 3: Eriksen leads Kane-less Spurs into FA Cup semis Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 22:17 17/3/2018 Getty Images Harry Kane was absent through injury, but Christian Eriksen stepped up with two goals as Tottenham beat Swansea City 3-0 in the FA Cup. Christian Eriksen took charge in the absence of Harry Kane as he scored twice in a straightforward 3-0 win at Swansea City, booking Tottenham’s place in the FA Cup semi-finals.Kane suffered ankle ligament damage against Bournemouth that is expected to keep him out until April, but on the evidence of Spurs’ display at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, they should be able to cope without him for the time being.Mauricio Pochettino said in his pre-match news conference that lifting the trophy would not help breed a “winning culture” at Spurs, but their challenge was boosted inside 11 minutes when the excellent Eriksen found the net in stunning fashion from just outside the area. 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 Although the visitors were frustrated by having a Son Heung-min goal disallowed for offside shortly before Eriksen struck the crossbar, a second goal arrived in first-half stoppage time when Erik Lamela scored in style.Swansea responded positively at the start of the second half, but they could not find a way past their former goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Spurs took advantage just after the hour when Eriksen doubled his tally.63 – @LucasMoura7 tees up @ChrisEriksen8 on the edge of the box and our great Dane hammers home his second of the day!#SCFC 0-3 #THFC pic.twitter.com/l4q44uD8dT— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 17, 2018Any chance of a Swansea comeback was long gone as the match entered its final stages, allowing Spurs to ease to successive FA Cup semi-final appearances for the first time since 1981-82, when they won the competition.After a tight opening 10 minutes, the indications were it was going to take a moment of individual brilliance to break the deadlock.And that was exactly what happened, as Eriksen marched towards the penalty area and bent a left-footed effort past Kristoffer Nordfeldt from 25 yards.The Swansea goalkeeper was beaten again in the 24th minute, but Son was adjudged to be marginally offside – a decision upheld by the video assistant referee – just before firing past Nordfeldt.Eriksen was proving a real nuisance to Swansea and he almost doubled his tally seven minutes prior to the break, though this time his long-range, left-footed strike was tipped onto the bar by Nordfeldt.Lamela was not to be denied on the stroke of half-time, however, as he evaded a challenge in midfield and then coolly swept home from 20 yards, finding the bottom-right corner.Cool. Calm. Composed.Coco #COYS pic.twitter.com/Zo2rGCXNwv— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 17, 2018Swansea started the second half in encouraging fashion and tested Vorm twice in quick succession – the Dutchman pushing away Martin Olsson’s rasping drive and parrying Tammy Abraham’s header on the rebound.That was not the start of a Swansea onslaught, though, as the visitors nearly added a third when Nordfeldt just about kept Eric Dier’s 30-yard drive out of the top-left corner.But Nordfeldt was arguably at fault as Spurs went 3-0 up; he managed to get a touch to Eriksen’s low shot from the edge of the area but could not keep it out.Pochettino introduced Dele Alli and Fernando Llorente from the bench late on and the Spaniard went close to scoring towards the end during a goalmouth scramble, but his failure to do so against his former team had no impact on the outcome as Spurs march on in the FA Cup. read more
Oklahoma StateKansas State Rushing Defense175.8137.3 Total Defense415256 Defensive Stats Passing Defense239.3118.7 Oklahoma State’s game in Texas last weekend was weird, and history says this weekend has a good shot at getting a little funky, too.Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. There haven’t been many games between these two this millennium decided by more than a touchdown. We’ll look more into that later, but here are some stats entering Saturday.Offensive Stats Points Per Game44.544 Oklahoma StateKansas State Total Offense533.8454.3 Cowboy Killer Skylar ThompsonIn two games against Oklahoma State, Skylar Thompson has 507 total yards, four total touchdowns and, most importantly, two wins.Now a junior at K-State, Thompson is a better passer this season than he was in his first two seasons. In the Wildcats’ three games in 2019, Thompson has completed 68 percent of his passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns.Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but considering Thompson had only 689 passing yards and five passing touchdowns two years ago, it shows improvement. Oh, and 204 of those passing yards Thompson had as a freshman came against OSU.“It gives you confidence going in that you can have success at a place if you’ve been there before,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said of Thompson’s success against OSU. “You still have to execute. He still has to have a tremendous week of preparation because, obviously, it’s a different offense and it’s a different style of defense, so to speak. So we’ve got to continue to prepare on a daily basis.”A History of Tight GamesSince the turn of the century, OSU and K-State have played 13 times.Eight of those 13 games have been determined by seven points or fewer. Let’s look at those.2003: The Pokes ended a streak of nine straight losses against K-State in this 38-34 victory.A classic Les Miles fake field goal in the third quarter led to OSU taking a 28-21 lead. The Cowboys were up 38-21 with just over 10 minutes left before the Wildcats roared back. But Tatum Bell was able to run out the clock late.Bell finished the game with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Rashaun Woods had 118 receiving yards on six catches.2006: After two seasons away from each other OSU and K-State met again for a back-and-forth affair that the Wildcats won 31-27 in Manhattan.Josh Freeman scored a 21-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to go to give K-State the lead. But Perrish Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to give OSU a chance.After a few completions to D’Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman, Bobby Reid threw an interception in the end zone as time expired.2007: As if these games couldn’t get closer, Oklahoma State upset the 25th-ranked Wildcats 41-39 the next year.Just like the year before, K-State scored with just over a minute to go. It looked as if K-State was going to tie the game at 38, but the Wildcats elected to go for two, got it and went up 39-38 with 1:10 to go.Just like the year before, the Wildcats gave up a late, big kick return, as Tommy Devereaux started the Pokes at their own 42-yard line.Despite time being scarce, the Cowboys ran the ball four times and threw it only once on the drive, as Zac Robinson and Dantrell Savage got OSU to K-State’s 9-yard line to set up a Jason Ricks game-winner.2011: The Cowboys won by a “healthy” 10 points in 2010 before this big scare late in the 2011 season.The No. 3 Cowboys topped No. 14 K-State 52-45 to advance the Cowboys to 9-0, but it wasn’t easy.Joesph Randle scored a 23-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes to go, but this time it was the Wildcats with a chance for last-second heroics.Collin Klein led K-State down the field. Klein hit Chris Harper on a 22-yard connection, as Harper went out of bounds at the OSU 5-yard line with 12 seconds left.From there, Klein threw three straight incompletions, and OSU survived.Brandon Weeden finished the game with 502 yards and four touchdowns. Justin Blackmon had 205 yards and two touchdowns.2013: This 33-29 OSU victory again came down to the trailing team’s final drive.After a Ben Grogan field goal gave the Cowboys a four-point lead with 2:24 to go, the Wildcats got into OSU territory before Daniel Sams threw a ball right to OSU defensive back Daytawion Lowe at the Cowboys’ 21. Lowe ran the ball back 72 yards and the Cowboys kneeled out the clock.2015: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but K-State scored with too much time left.In OSU’s 36-34 victory, Joe Hubener scored on a 5-yard run with 3:01 to go. However, the Wildcats failed a two-point conversion attempt, and down the field came OSU.Mason Rudolph moved the Cowboys’ offense down the field and set up a 37-yard Ben Grogan go-ahead field goal.K-State got the ball back with 36 seconds left, but Hubener threw an interception to Michael Hunter on the second play of the drive.Rudolph had 437 passing yards, and Marcell Ateman and James Washington each eclipsed 100 receiving yards.2016: The Pokes were down 37-28 in the fourth quarter before coming back and winning 43-37 on the road.With just under eight minutes to go, Rudolph threw an 84-yard bomb to Washington to put the Pokes a score away. Then Chris Carson drug two Wildcats’ defenders into the end zone with 1:46 left on the clock.K-State again got into OSU territory before Jordan Sterns picked off a Jesse Ertz pass in the end zone as time expired.Rudolph threw four 457 yards and five touchdowns in the game.2017: At one point in this 45-40 K-State victory, OSU was down 42-13.Byron Pringle showed up to Stillwater and dominated. He had three touchdown catches and returned a kick for another score.Despite getting drilled for much of the game, OSU somehow had a chance to win.The Cowboys scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and got the ball near mid-field with a chance to win. OSU started its final drive of the game on its 46 with 2:16 to go, but after four straight incompletions, K-State survived the comeback attempt. Points Allowed Per Game26.812.7 Passing Offense263.3174.3 Rushing Offense270.5280 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. 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