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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
What a weekend for college football as the final regular season week produced huge matchups and lots of hate. Perhaps no more hate north of Alabama was felt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the state's beloved Wolverines took on the hated Ohio State Buckeyes. While the rivalry is storied and easily Top 5 in college football no matter the circumstance, the stakes were significantly higher this week as Michigan was riding an 8-game losing streak against the perennial powerhouse Buckeyes and the teams were both ranked in the Top 5 coming in. Big 10 title on the line. Playoff spot on the line. Enter cold weather and snow and it was the American dream for a football fan. But this turned into a nightmare for the Buckeyes. In Big 10 football style, Michigan lined up and took control of the game at the line. The beneficiary was Hassan Haskins. He put the team on his back with 28 carries for 169 yards and 5 TD, personally outscoring the Buckeyes in the 42-27 Wolverines victory. And it wasn't the kind of effort where it was a few long runs. Every time Michigan had the ball, Haskins pounded for 5 yards, 7 yards, 2 yards, 6 yards shedding tacklers on the way to setting up his team for good 3rd down distance. Michigan scored a TD on its last 5 possessions that didn't end the half keeping Ohio State at bay. What a win for Michigan and while the Sportsman of the Week goes to Haskins, his offensive line deserves much of the credit as well!
Monday, November 22, 2021
The NFL is rounding the midseason battles and heading into a stretch run. One team to watch is the Indianapolis Colts, as from a trend perspective, they're headed in the right direction. This week they obliterated AFC Playoff contender Buffalo Bills on the road 41-15, led by their upstart running back who is entering elite status. Jonathan Taylor shredded the Bills defense for 185 yards and 4 TDs on the ground, then added a TD catch to end with total yards over 200. The Bills had only once given up more than 24 points in a game but Taylor scored that on his own! Taylor now has at least one TD in eight straight games (Colts are 6-2) with 100 yard games in 5 out of 6, and 6 out of those 8. The Wisconsin stud in his second year has two 1000 yard seasons and seems poised for a stellar career. Taylor is a deserving Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Hockey season is back, this time for a regular full season and one of the legends of the current game is showing he hasn't lost a step in his older age. Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin continues to climb up the all time scoring charts and shows now sign of slowing down. Ovi led the Caps to four big victories during the week to thrust them to within a point of the Metropolitan Division lead. His two goals during the week pushed him to 742 career total, for fourth all time (trailing only Gretzky, Howe, and Jagr). He added six assists along with a plus six in the four wins. The Caps are looking for another Stanley Cup playoff run and their first chance to lift the cup since 2018 when he took home the Conn Smythe Trophy. This week, he gets the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week trophy!
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
The 2021 NASCAR season ended in dramatic fashion with four top teams vying for the Championship. Unlike other motor sports like Formula 1, the NASCAR playoff format ensures four teams compete for the Season Championship in the last race. Some argue that it's not fair to the best team or two in that they may have been the best over the full season but not win a title. But frankly, that's the way it is in most sports in which one game or series decides the winner no matter the regular season records. Well this year, the top regular season driver won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Kyle Larson and his number 5 team of Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) had won 9 races over the season entering the championship race in Phoenix. Make it ten. It was not a foregone conclusion over the mile track, as each of the Playoff 4 teams led or would even be considered favorites at any point. But a clutch final pit stop and restart after a yellow thrust Larson's number 5 HMS team out front and he would not be caught. He didn't have to win the race to win the championship, but he did. In his first year in the 5 car, Larson brought his team the title. Fitting end to a great season. Larson is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, November 1, 2021
No player was scarier on Halloween Weekend for defensive players than all world running back Kenneth Walker III as he single handedly won the intrastate rivalry, dealt the Michigan Wolverines their first loss of the season, and surged toward the top of the Heisman Trophy favorite board. The Michigan State Spartan shredded the Wolverines defense for nearly 200 yards (197 to be exact) and five, read that FIVE touchdowns. It was all the offense the Spartans needed to outscore the Wolverines 37-33 and move to 8-0 themselves and into the Big 10 title discussion. Trailing Michigan 30-14, Walker III ran to pay dirt three times in the second half (including two 2-point conversions) from 1 yard, 58 yards, and 23 yards to deflate the favored Michigan squad. An impressive effort in a huge game, nets Walker III our Sportsman of the Week!