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Monday, November 28, 2022
Three-hundred-yard performances just don't happen in the NFL, but we saw one this week. From an unlikely source, certainly for the team if not individual. Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders shredded a playoff contending Seattle Seahawks defense for 229 yards on the ground plus another 74 through the air for 303 total yards. He led the Raiders in both yardage categories. Add two touchdowns, the last of which was epic. An 86 yard "walk off" in overtime. After being pinned inside their own 20-yard line with 4:20 left, Jacobs ended it all. Busting through the middle it was a track meet to the goal line and he would not be denied. Ballgame.
Monday, November 21, 2022
It was a topsy-turvy weekend of college football in which many of the top playoff contending teams struggled and one seemingly favorite went down. Hard. Tennessee rolled into Columbia, South Carolina, as 22-point favorites and their chanced of making the college football playoffs seemed more dependent on Big 10 and Big 12 losses ahead of them. South Carolina Gamecocks QB Spencer Rattler took that personally. South Carolina struck pay dirt early and often in an absolute bludgeoning of the SEC East runners up. After USC of the East jumped to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter, the track meet began, and Tennessee battled back to cut the Cocks lead to 35-31 late in the 3rd quarter. But South Carolina scored four straight TDs, two on Rattler passes. Overall Rattler threw 6 TD passes on 30-37, no picks, and 438 yards. Tennessee will be left licking their wounds in a Bowl game in Florida on New Year's Day, instead of in the playoffs on New Year's Eve. Thanks to Rattler, the Longhorndave, Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, November 14, 2022
In a really fun and amazing weekend of NFL Football, two traditional powerhouses squared off in the late TV window and thrilled audiences. With the proud Green Bay Packers licking their wounds after 5 straight losses and the sky-high Dallas Cowboys in the frozen tundra, the Packers acted like a cornered wounded animal. While Aaron Rodgers was his usual steady self, it was rookie wide receiver Christian Watson that emerged as a potential future superstar in the league. Watson, who had been plagued with uneven play over the first half of his rookie season, emerged and showed why the Packers believed he can help bring the Packers back to the playoffs. After a disappointing 88 yards on 10 catches in his first six games, he emerged with four big catches, including three touchdowns in the crucial 31-28 win to keep Green Bay in the playoff hunt. His 58 yard catch in the 2nd quarter seemed to boost both the Packers and his confidence and they emerged as winners of their biggest game of the year. Will Green Bay make the playoffs? If so, it'll be due to Watson's emergence. He is a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, November 7, 2022
Nothing defines October, err, early November, more than the Major League Baseball World Series. For over a century, the Fall Classic has captured the attention of baseball fans as the Commissioner's Trophy is up for grabs in the seven-game series between the American and National League Champions. Until 2022, only one no-hitter had been thrown in World Series history. Make it two. Houston Astros pitcher Cristian Javier dominated the hard-hitting Philadelphia Phillies for six innings of no-hit baseball for a 5-0 win in Game 4 to even the series at 2. The Astros would never look back and win the next two. The stats barely do his effort justice, as there were very few even hints of hard contact and nine strikeouts of his 18 ours. Unassuming and cold blooded, Javier mowed through the Phillies lineup twice (plus two batters) retiring the final 11 hitters he faced after a couple of early walks. Leading 5-0, the Astros then used their well-rested high leverage relievers in Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly to close out the knock-less box score. Javier started two games in the postseason with 11.1 innings and just 1 hit. This was no fluke, and he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Will all four professional sports in regular or post season, we turn to the consummate fall sport, College Football for our honors. The North Carolina Tarheels have been a surprise in the ACC this year, up to 7-1 (4-0 in conference) under legendary coach Mack Brown. The Heels were in a battle this week, before emerging victorious when it counted, the fourth quarter. Led by freshman quarterback Drake Maye, Carolina ran off the game's final 28 points to overcome a 10-point deficit and turn it into an 18-point victory. Maye threw for 3 TD passes over the game's last 22 minutes, amassed 388 yards and 5 TD in the Tarheels 42-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Maye was also North Carolina's leading ground gainer with 61 yards on 14 carries, meaning is 449 yards outshined his opponents who had 25 combined rushing otherwise, literally doing it all for the Heels. Drake Maye has a bright future and showed us why, as the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, October 24, 2022
October is one of the great sports months on the calendar. NBA/NHL starting. NFL in midseason. Golf and motor sports with big end of year action. But it's Major League Baseball that is synonomous with October. And we have a surprise team and hero. The Philadelphia Phillies have basically been bracket busting (a la March Madness style) in surging toward the National League pennant. With several heroes, it was Rhys Hoskins that gave the power to push them to the flag. Hoskins went 3-7 with 3 HR and 6 RBI over the National League Championship series final two games to seal the deal for the Phillies against the San Diego Padres and punch their ticket to the World Series. His fourth hit in the series also a HR. The hits were clutch as well, right when the team needed it. Cutting a lead to 4-2. Tying up a game at 6. Giving his team a 2-run lead. Never a bad time for a HR, but Hoskins was dialed in, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, October 17, 2022
In one of the best October weekends of college football in recent memory, a traditional power rising back to glory got their biggest win in a decade or more. In what is one of the biggest rivalries in college football, the Tennessee Volunteers finally overcame 15 years of frustration and adversity in a thrilling defeat of the perennial power Alabama Crimson Tide 52-49 in front of a raucous home crowd. The Vols were led by senior QB Hendon Hooker who was nothing short of spectacular. Against a perennially strong Alabama defense, Hooker lit them up for 21-30, 385 yards, and 5 TD. He also kept 14 times for another 56 yards ending at 441 total yards for the game out of his team's 567. The Vols have surged to the Top 5, and will have many more big games left including a showdown with Georgia and an SEC title game. But Hooker and the Vols got it done, and he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, October 10, 2022
After an action-packed weekend of Major League Baseball Wild Card Playoffs, four teams emerged. Surprisingly, 3 of the 4 visiting teams pulled off series wins to advance to the League Division Series. One of the most watched and intense series were the San Diego Padres visiting the New York Mets. The 101-win Mets finished tied with the Division Champion Atlanta Braves but did not own the tiebreaker and were relegated to fight for their lives. But it was the talented and plucky San Diego Padres that proved victorious. Facing two of the most-feared pitchers in the National League in Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer (the latter a two-time former Sportsman of the Week), the Padres were able to get ahead early in Games 1 and 3 and put away the frustrated Mets. The Padres were led but a surprising weapon in Trent Grisham. Grisham notched 4 hits in 8 AB and added two walks for an OBP of .600. Two of the hits were HR, including a big one early in Game 1 off of Scherzer to push the Padres lead to 3. He also had a rally killing catch in CF in Game 3, robbing an extra base hit which would have tightened up the elimination game. And he scored 5 of the teams 16 runs in the series. The Padres are loaded with superstars, but it was an unsung hero who stole the stage and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, October 3, 2022
The final stretch, really the last 100m of the 2022 Major League Baseball playoff horse race unfolded before us and the defending World Series Champions showed us they are ready to defend their title. The Atlanta Braves entered the week just behind the rival National League East New York Mets, and left it front with a magic number of one to clinch. Led by key offseason acquisition Matt Olson, the Braves won 5 out of 6, including a sweep against the Mets to take a two-game lead. Olson pounded the Nationals and Mets at a 9-18 clip with an astounding 5 HR and 9 RBI. Including 3 HR and 5 RBI in what is probalby the deciding series in the NL East. Olson has been a star for the underpublicized A's but now may get his chance in the postseason to show his star ability. Matt Olson is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, September 26, 2022
It's starting to get to the interesting part of the College Football season, with conference openers and no longer cupcake out of conference paydays. One of the biggest upsets of the first week was orchestrated by a team that, quite frankly, got beat by a cupcake the week before. The Kansas State Wildcats surprisingly fell to the Tulane (Mighty) Green Wave 17-10 last week in a stunner. Many thought their conference title hopes would be abandoned. Au Contrare. Led by 5th year senior Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez, the Wildcats beat the 6th ranked and Big 12 favorite Oklahoma Sooners 41-34. Martinez accounted for five touchdowns, including four on the ground, with an efficient 21-34 passing and one TD, but gashing the defense with 148 yards rushing on 21 carries. It's not like the Sooners could gang up on him, with weapon super back Deuce Vaughn also getting as many touches and more than 100 yards. The Sooners had no answers for Martinez, who cemented the Wildcats fourth win in five years over the Sooners. A deserving Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!