Sparta confident of three-peat; Tucville relish underdog tagWITH the hype around this year’s Georgetown leg of the Guinness Greatest in the Streets Football tournament, both teams are raring to capture for championship honours. Tonight’s action will feature the two-time champions Sparta looking for the three-peat and they are confident of moving past their Tucville-based opponents, according to team representative Sheldon Shepherd.“That’s easy for us. We gonna wrap that up easily. We confident enough, gonna beat them at least 4-1. We giving them at least one or a chance at one,” he said.He continued, “Our defence is proper and we defend properly; we have a proper forward and how it looks, it looks as though our other forward, a national forward (Devon Millington) will be here. We know our strengths.”“We are coming to win; this is we again. There is no other thing we could be thinking. We can’t draw it nor are we going to penalty kicks. If nothing, we are sure of it,” Shepherd reminded fans.Meanwhile on the opposing end, the Tucville players are not feeling any pressure, according to captain Delon Williams.“Yes, we know they are the number one road ball team in the country but we are not pressured in any way; but in the same way we won’t take them lightly,” he added.The skipper noted, ‘We didn’t enter this competition to compete, we entered it to win and that’s what we are going to do,” saying too that his team plan to approach the game as though it is any other game.To the fans that have supported his team, Williams reminded them to come out and support their team, as they will require the full fan support to lift the trophy. He also declined to predict a score line but predicted a victory in his team’s favour.All in all, both teams will have a shot at the $500 000 grand prize on centre stage come this evening with the other having to settle for $150 000.Back Circle and Broad Street Bullies will play for third and fourth and prizes of $100 000 and $75 000 respectively.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 17 Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0) on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. It’s the two teams’ first meeting since the Hokies beat the Orange, 51-7, in 2003. Heading into the matchup, beat writers Tomer Langer, Chris Libonati and Jon Mettus answer three questions surrounding SU.1. Has the secondary had any bright spots amid its terrible start to the season?Tomer Langer: Do bright yellow flags flying because of pass interference calls count as “bright spots?” It’s been hard for this secondary, particularly after losing two starters to season-ending injuries. Daivon Ellison has had some nice moments, and most of the secondary has actually done a solid job tackling recently (when the DBs aren’t getting burned over the top) as Cordell Hudson, Kielan Whitner and Corey Winfield combined for 25 tackles against Wake Forest. And if we’re looking at silver linings, none of the DBs are seniors, so experience can only help for next year.Chris Libonati: If you watch games, you know this unit has had some head-scratching plays. That doesn’t fall totally on defensive coordinator Brian Ward, secondary coach Nick Monroe or any defensive back in particular because of the change in scheme. One player who has stood out as outdoing the rest of the secondary is Daivon Ellison. The 5-foot-8 safety has been impressive in clean-up duty from the back end for the Orange. Despite his size — he also only weighs 177 pounds, which is actually a nine-pound improvement over last season — he’s one of the secondary’s best tacklers. When he’s faced down bigger runners, he stays down and wraps up the ball carrier. Despite not starting in the first two games and not getting much playing time, he’s third for SU with 37 tackles. In coverage, he has one interception and hasn’t been beaten as often as his counterparts. His emergence has been and will be key for SU going forward.Jon Mettus: The secondary has looked bad for various reasons including miscommunications, poor coverage and bad routes taken to stop ball carriers. A lot of the big plays the Orange has given up — often for scores — fall on the shoulders of those in the secondary. Safety Daivon Ellison has looked the best after filling in for injured safeties Antwan Cordy and Kielan Whitner, now establishing himself as a starter. He makes plays at the line in the running games, looks like the best tackler in the secondary and has forced a fumble and snagged an interception. Cornerback Corey Winfield has been emerging slightly as a bright spot over the last three games where he’s recorded 15 tackles and broken up two passes, including a big hit in the backfield that led to an interception against Wake Forest. But he’s been plagued by missed tackles like almost every other defensive back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBryan Cereijo | Staff Photographer2. How desperate is Syracuse to develop a second threat from the wide receiver position?T.L.: I’m not sure it’s a matter of developing that second threat per se as much of a finding the other threats to be more consistent. Wake Forest game aside, Ervin Philips had at least six catches in every game this season and Steve Ishmael has five in each of his last two games. But the catches all seem to come on a few drives with the offense getting shut out at other points. The weapons are there; the offensive execution just needs to be more consistent.C.L.: Well, I think SU has two. Amba Etta-Tawo and Ervin Philips. I think Philips hasn’t gotten as many looks simply because Etta-Tawo has simply been that good. In its last game against Wake Forest, Eric Dungey looked away from Etta-Tawo a lot without a ton of success. Once SU can spray the ball over the field (and get mismatches at more than one spot) rather than concentrate on one area, it’ll have more success. That’s a long way to say SU needs another outside threat more than it just needs a second general threat. If Steve Ishmael proves to be that guy remains to be seen. He’s a good receiver, but his skillset also doesn’t jibe with the system he’s in all the time. Ishmael isn’t as quick as the other wide outs on the roster. More than a second threat, SU needs to figure out its offensive line.J.M.: It’s not just a second threat that Syracuse needs, it’s a third and maybe even fourth. Right now, Amba Etta-Tawo is the primary and basically only deep threat. Ervin Philips has established himself as the secondary threat with 42 catches to Etta-Tawo’s 51, but Philips has more than 500 yards fewer than Etta-Tawo. Part of it has to do with the outrageous success that Etta-Tawo is having — save for the hurricane-filled Wake Forest game — but against teams with better secondaries, Eric Dungey needs to throw the ball to more than just one or two receivers when throwing it close to 50 times per game. The Orange is going to likely rely on the short passing game more, too, with a struggling offensive line and running game. It’s time for Steve Ishmael, Brisly Estime and maybe even freshman Devin Butler to step up.3. Which SU player has to step up in order for Syracuse to have a chance against Virginia Tech?T.L.: The entire offensive line, honestly. A lot of pressure came up the middle last week against Wake Forest so some might single out Colin Byrne or either of the two guards. But the truth is that this patchwork group as a whole hasn’t been that strong. It hasn’t been terrible, but it’ll need to be solid not only in pass protection but in run blocking if SU has a chance to beat VT.C.L.: Aaron Roberts/Evan Adams. Colin Byrne said WFU sent double A-gap blitzes, which is a horrendous mess to pick up and is a nightmare when you consider how patched together the SU offensive line is right now. Byrne has played well in place of starter Jason Emerich and maybe even better than Emerich would have played, but it’ll be up to SU’s guards to aid in interior blitz pickup. And you best believe a defensive coordinator like Bud Foster is going to try to blow up the SU offensive line with blitzes. Dino Babers mentioned Foster’s previous work during Monday’s press conference. If Babers doesn’t want his squad to end up on a highlight film for Foster, he’ll need his interior linemen to be ready.J.M.: Colin Byrne. The success of this offensive line starts at the center, both in position and space. Pressure up the middle makes it impossible to run the ball (see the 11 tackles for a loss by Wake Forest) and hard to throw the ball (see Dino Babers’ postgame press conference where he mentioned that receivers were open but Dungey couldn’t see them because of the pressure). Dungey is mobile enough that he can step up to avoid pressure from the edges, but from the center is disastrous. Byrne has been the most critical of his own play and the play of the group recently (interestingly, Dino Babers decided not to make him available to the media this week). All eyes should be on him and the middle of the offensive line. Comments Published on October 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm
WATCH US LIVE Colin DCunha A number of MLB stars reacted to Josh Donaldson’s surprise. Among them was fellow three-time MLB All-Star J.D. Martinez, who called Josh Donaldson’s mother’s reaction as the “Best reaction ever.” Four-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler also weighed in, amazing at the former Atlanta Braves third baseman’s surprise. Josh Donaldson is a fan of the History Channel series Vikings and also appeared in an episode on the show. It was, therefore, fitting that Vikings star Katheryn Winnick also hailed Josh Donaldson’s gift on Instagram.Also Read | MLB Trade Rumours: Gerrit Cole Deal Could Have Domino Effect On Other Free Agent Moves First Published: 16th December, 2019 16:03 IST COMMENT These are exciting times in Major League Baseball (MLB). After a week packed with blockbuster deals that saw first Stephen Strasburg and then Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon sign more-than-lucrative deals, it was now free agent Josh Donaldson’s turn to grab the headlines. While the former Atlanta Braves third baseman has not yet signed a new deal with the Braves, Josh Donaldson did make a hefty purchase this week for all the right reasons. Also Read | Houston Astros Sign-stealing Controversy Deepens; 60 Witnesses And 76,000 Emails RetrievedMLB: Josh Donaldson gifts mother a $70,000 MaseratiApparently, Josh Donaldson made a deal with his mother a couple of years ago. The deal involved his mother, Lisa French, having to quit smoking. If she were to successfully quit smoking, he promised her a handsome reward. This past weekend, Josh Donaldson stood true to his word. Also Read | Gerrit Cole Signs Stratospheric Record-breaking Deal With Yankees, To Earn $324 Million Last Updated: 16th December, 2019 16:03 IST MLB Star Josh Donaldson’s Mother Quits Smoking For A $70,000 Maserati, Watch Video Three-time MLB All-Star Josh Donaldson surprised his mother with a $70,000 Maserati. The MLB star made a deal with his mother two years ago to quit smoking. The former Atlanta Braves third baseman surprised his mother with a $70,000 Maserati – his way of congratulating his mother for kicking the smoking habit. Josh Donaldson posted a video of the $70,000 surprise on Instagram. The video shows Josh Donaldson’s mother Lisa French jumping in surprise as the three-time MLB All-Star rolls up to the house in a white Maserati.Also Read | MLB: World Series Flasher Julia Rose To Attend Gerrit Cole’s Yankees Debut? SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By LIVE TV FOLLOW US
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