In one of the biggest conference games to start the Big 10, a strong Heisman candidate stepped up and made a statement. Jonathan Taylor of the Wisconsin Badgers plowed through what was expected to be a stingy Michigan Wolverine defense for over 200 yards. 203 to be exact, on 23 carries for two TDs. His longest was a spectacular 72 yard scamper in the first quarter to set the tone for the game. He even missed the 2nd quarter with a cramp, but returned in the second half to help ensure the 35-14 conference opening victory in one of their toughest projected games. The win thrust the Badgers up to Number 8 and solidifies their favorite status in the Big 10 West. Taylor has averaged over 2000 yards his first two seasons and is likely to find himself in New York competing for the Heisman, which he finished 9th last year. Taylor is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
The Baltimore Ravens have suddenly surged to favorites in the rugged NFC North thanks to the emergence of their quarterback. Lamar Jackson was handed the reigns of the offense this offseason as former Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Flacco was traded to the Denver Broncos. And Jackson has seized his chance in two weeks. This week he tallied 392 total yards and 2 passing TDs, including 120 on the ground as the Arizona Cardinals had no answers. Week 1 he notched 324 yards before the offense called off the dogs against the hapless Miami Dolphins. With Division opponents already with 5 losses, the undefeated Ravens seemed poised to breeze to the playoffs. Then it will be even a bigger stage for the former Heisman Trophy winner. But for this week, Lamar Jackson has been the story of the NFL and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Grand Slam majors are hard to win, especially when legends like Serena Williams is in her home country going for her seventh United States Open title. But Bianca Andreescu didn't flinch. The Canadian teenager announcer her presence on the scene with a decisive 6-3, 7-5 straight set victory over Williams. It was her second finals victory over Serena after beating her in the Rogers Cup Final (in her home country) upping her match victory winning streak to 13. It took 3 sets to win in the prior 3 rounds (4th, quarter, semi), but with this victory she's up to number 5 in the world. Is she the next big thing? Maybe, but she is certainly the U.S. Open Champion and the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!
Legends are dominant, and our Sportsman of the Week was dominant again. For the third time. Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros joined elite company in pitching the third no-hitter of his career. The first was 12 years prior, but the 36 year old seems to be getting better with age. Verlander flummoxed the Toronto Blue Jays for only a handful of hard hit balls and just one walk to go with 14 strikeouts. And did we mention no hits? Also no runs. There was drama, as the Astros entered the ninth inning tied as they had yet to cross the plate as well. But rookie Abraham Toro launched a 2-run home run in the Top of the 9th to turn the attention back to Verlander. And he delivered. He may be pitching the best of his future Hall-of-Fame career and he is undoubtedly the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!