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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

He’s Back and Better Than Ever – The Erik Kuselias Show

5 hours 18 min ago

After a few days off, EK is back with all the sports insight you crave. Erik talks about Major League Baseball as the Yankees and Red Sox series raps up, are the Rays are the best team that won’t make the playoffs. To the NFL and the Browns are favorites tonight on Thursday Night Football and all of the college football news from around the state of Florida.

Steve Kinsella with Sports Talk Florida talk the Cy Young race, the rays, and much more.

Darek Sharp with Bulls Unlimited talks the surging USF Bulls and how they can keep the momentum going when they host ECU.

Graham Hall of gatorsports.com talks about the Gators win against Colorado State and the upcoming matchup in Knoxville when the Gators take on the Volunteers.

All of that and more on The Erik Kuselias Show catch the show live weekday mornings 7-9 on Sports Talk 1040 The Team in Tampa Bay. Or Stream the show on sportstalkflorida.com

The post He’s Back and Better Than Ever – The Erik Kuselias Show appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

USF Looks To Remain Unbeaten Against Displaced ECU

5 hours 40 min ago
First conference game ahead for Bulls while ECU comes in from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence



TAMPA — While Bulls fans will be pulling for their team to get off to a winning start in conference play and remain unbeaten, they may also want to give ECU a warm welcome when they arrive at Raymond James Stadium for Saturday night’s game.

The Pirates were displaced by Hurricane Florence and have been in Orlando since last Wednesday, a day after cancelling their game at Virginia Tech. According to an athletics department release Orlando was chosen based on the track of the storm, lodging availability and proximity to Tampa.

The team has been practicing at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

“We’re dealing with a lot of issues with some of our players and their families,” said ECU coach Scottie Montgomery during Monday’s American Athletic teleconference. “We are trying to help and mentor our kids through all these difficult situations. But we’re focused on a great opponent this weekend and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Montgomery went on to say families of those associated with the program, while they may have been displaced from their homes, are safe.

“I can only imagine, with how we were sitting here a year ago with what we were experiencing and how we were bracing ourselves for (Hurricane Irma), and to think about what has just happened in North Carolina,” said USF coach Charlie Strong. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and the lives that have been lost.”

The Bulls head into Saturday night’s game (8 p.m., ESPNews/820 AM) looking to go 4-0. While big fourth quarters have punctuated victories over Georgia Tech and Illinois, there is much that needs to be cleaned up heading into their AAC opener.

“Number one is penalties,” said Strong. “You don’t ever want to be a penalized team and that all comes from discipline. I think we had 14 penalties (for 124 yards) on Saturday, which is not who we are, not who we want to be and so we have to get that corrected.”

While the offense came up huge in the fourth quarter in consecutive games against Power Five opponents, Strong feels the unit needs to be a little more consistent.

“We just need to get into a better flow on offense,” he said while noting that too many points have been left on the field. “We have to make sure we can sustain drives.”

As for the defense, the Fighting Illini, as well as Georgia Tech, found themselves with a number of desirable second-and-short situations that were set up by first-down runs.

“The thing we have to do that we are not doing right now is win on first down,” said Strong. “It can’t be a second-and-four or a second-and-three.”

This not to say Strong is not satisfied with the team’s effort through three weeks. Rather, a number of things need to be righted, including game preparation, if the Bulls are to maintain their winning ways through conference play.

“We are in a position where we have to get better and the focus has to be there,” said Strong, who noted he was not pleased with last Tuesday’s practice and how it served put the team on its heels the rest of the week. “That’s on us as coaches. We have to do a better job of getting our guys to go play, at each position. We’re making progress, but we are still taking small steps.”

About ECU
The Pirates have split a pair of home games. They lost, 28-23, to North Carolina A&T in a game that was played Sunday on Labor Day weekend after lightning resulted in the postponement of the scheduled Saturday kickoff. ECU got in the win column Sept. 8 by defeating North Carolina, 41-19…..ECU has lost seven of its last eight road conference games, a stretch that started with a 38-22 defeat at the hands of the Bulls in 2016…..The Pirates have a streak of 256 games since they last suffered a shutout. It is the ninth-longest active streak in the country…..Redshirt freshman quarterback Reid Herring attempted 65 passes against NC A&T. That is the most by an FBS quarterback this season….Redshirt freshman receiver Blake Proehl (team leading 12 receptions) is the son of former NFL receiver Ricky Proehl, who caught 669 passes in a 17-year career with six teams.

Bulls Bits
A win would be the 150th in program history and give the Bulls a 5-1 mark in AAC openers…. USF leads the all-time series against ECU, 7-1….The Bulls are 18-3 in their last 21 games at Raymond James Stadium….Quarterback Blake Barnett was named co-AAC offensive player of the week (along with Memphis RB Darrell Henderson) following his 411-yard passing effort in the comeback at Illinois….Mitchell Wilcox leads the nation in receiving yards (182) among tight ends and is second in receptions (14). Last season he was 17-185….The Bulls had three touchdown drives of at least 70 yards in each of the first three games….Coach Charlie Strong said he will have a better idea on running back Duran Bell’s (ankle) status by the end of the week and that punter Trent Schneider (hamstring) should be good to go by Saturday….Senior linebacker Khalid McGee, who moved from safety late last season, leads the AAC in tackles per game with 11.3….The Bulls will wear a helmet decal in support of Extra Yard For Teachers Week. Extra Yard for Teachers is the primary platform of the College Football Playoff Foundation. The CFP Foundation uses college football as a means of elevating the teaching profession.

The post USF Looks To Remain Unbeaten Against Displaced ECU appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Jon Jones Suspended 15 Months By USADA, But Can Return In 2018

6 hours 6 min ago
Jones Is Eligible To Return October 28th


Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been handed a 15-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and will be able to return to the octagon by October 28th.

Jones tested positive for metabolites of an anabolic steroid in July 2017, less than a month after winning the light heavyweight title by knocking out Daniel Cormier in the second round at UFC 214. Jones’ suspension is retroactive to the date of the test, so Jones has already served almost 14 months.

Photo: AP Photo/John Locher

Jones had faced a maximum ban of four years and had his license to fight pulled by the California State Athletic Commission. The executive director for the CSAC told ESPN the commission finds the 15-month suspension “agreeable.”

In order to regain his fight license, Jones must complete three months community service and pay a previously ordered $205,000 fine.

Jones posted on his Twitter soon after the news broke saying he plans on going after the title.

It’s difficult to express myself at this moment but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation. I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life.

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 20, 2018

It has meant the world to me and always will. But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 20, 2018

UFC 230 is slated for November 3 in Madison Square Garden and still doesn’t have a main event. Jones would be eligible to fight on that card if the UFC wants him. But UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN and says Jones will likely return in 2019.

“The arbitrator found that Jones never intentionally or knowingly took steroids and the result of the positive test was a result of a contaminated substance,” White said. “The science completely supports that finding. The science doesn’t lie, so I look forward to getting him back early next year.”

Just because White says Jones isn’t likely to fight at UFC 230, doesn’t mean he won’t. White has been known to lie to the media and make the big announcement himself. Just a month ago, he had told reporters at a press conference that a deal with Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t done yet and as the press conference was wrapping up, he playing a promo video showing the fight was indeed set.

Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP Photo

There just so happens to be a press conference Thursday afternoon where McGregor and Nurmagomedov will face off and answer questions from the media. The main event for UFC 230 could be announced there as well and don’t be surprised if Jones is headlining.

The 31-year-old Jones has had an excellent career but this isn’t the first time he’s had to deal with USADA. In 2016, Jones served a one-year suspension for testing positive for two banned substances. In 2015, Jones was stripped of the light heavyweight title he had defended eight times after he was involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Even after all these past incidents, Jones is still one of the biggest stars in the UFC. It’s unclear who Jones will fight next, but rival Cormier currently holds both the light heavyweight title as well as the heavyweight title. Cormier is looking for a big-money fight with Brock Lesnar, but that fight won’t be until 2019. With that being said, it’s unlikely Cormier can get down to 205 pounds by November on such short notice.

Photo: AP

If Jones does fight in November, it may be against Alexander Gustafsson who Jones beat via unanimous decision at UFC 165 in September 2013.

The post Jon Jones Suspended 15 Months By USADA, But Can Return In 2018 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Montreal May Have Political Support To Build A Baseball Park

19 hours 9 min ago

Loonies are available?

 

 

There are three essential elements that contribute to the success of a major league sports franchise. Government support, a large local TV deal and corporate partners. It appears that Quebec political leaders have thrown their support behind an effort to build a state of the art baseball park in an attempt to attract Major League Baseball’s interest and get a team in Montreal. Major League Baseball moved the Montreal Expos franchise to Washington after the 2004 season.  Quebec’s three major political parties seem to be willing to throw some money into a Montreal stadium if Major League Baseball commits to putting a team in Montreal and if there is an ownership that not only will buy a team but put a significant amount of money into the construction of a stadium.

There is some apprehension in pouring a large amount of loonies into a Montreal baseball park because of the Quebec City failure to land a National Hockey League expansion team. The Quebec provincial government and Quebec City elected officials contributed $400 million Canadian into a Quebec City building with the understanding that the media company, Quebecor, would be able to get an expansion team or possibly buy a financially struggling team and bring the business into Quebec City. Quebecor and Las Vegas investors decided to pursue an expansion slot. The NHL reviewed the Quebecor expansion application and put the bid on ice. Las Vegas got the NHL’s 31st team and now a Seattle group is on the verge of landing another expansion franchise. Quebec City is on the bench. Quebec politicians do not want to put money up for a building that is not generating much business as in Quebec City. Stephen Bronfman and Mitch Garber have expressed interest in owning a Montreal baseball team while Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been talking about expansion but nothing has materialized so far.

 

 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is talking up expansion.

The post Montreal May Have Political Support To Build A Baseball Park appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Will FitzMagic Turn into FitzTragic? – Rock Riley 9/19

20 hours 36 min ago
Bucs’ QB has a history of up-and-down seasons

On today’s episode, Rock is talking about the up-and-down career of Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and wonders if he will start to fade with his performances.  Jameis Winston, who is serving the final week of his suspension, is now finding himself in a civil lawsuit with the Uber driver from the incident in 2016 that warranted his three-game suspension. What does this mean for his future in Tampa Bay?

The fans of FSU are growing louder and louder about the lack of success from Head Coach Willie Taggart so far this season, what are the chances FSU parts ways with Taggart if FSU is not bowl-eligible this season?

Rock also catches up with USF Defensive Coordinator Brian Jean-Mary!

 

 

Guests on today’s show:

Josh Newberg, 247Sports – FSU struggling under Taggart, but is he to blame as much as the horrid play by the offensive line?

Tom Layberger, Sports Talk Florida – College football, particularly the Florida schools and how their seasons have gone so far.

Brian Jean-Mary, USF Defensive Coordinator – USF’s hot start and previewing this weeks game vs ECU.

 

 

Listen to The Rock Riley Show on Sports Talk AM1040 The Team weekday afternoons from 3-6!

The post Will FitzMagic Turn into FitzTragic? – Rock Riley 9/19 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Rays Continue Surging With 9-2 Win Over Rangers

20 hours 37 min ago
Tommy Pham homers twice in afternoon victory



ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tommy Pham homered twice while extending his on-base streak to 21 games and the late-surging Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 9-3 victory Wednesday.

The Rays (85-66), who have won 14 of their 17 games in September and have 11 remaining, entered the day 5½ games behind Oakland for the American League’s second wild card despite a record that would lead or share the lead in three divisions in baseball. But they are third in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

Adrian Beltre hit his 13th homer of the season for the last-place Rangers. It was the 475th of his career to match Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 30th on the all-time list. He is 15th with his 3,159 career hits, 25 behind Cal Ripken Jr.

A day after Blake Snell became the majors’ first 20-game winner in two years, the Rays used an “opener” pitcher for the 49th time this season.

Rookie lefty Ryan Yarbrough (15-5), the second of five Tampa Bay pitchers, went four innings for the win.

Jake Bauers had a two-run single and scored on Willy Adames’ single in the second off lefty Yohander Mendez (2-2) to put the Rays ahead to stay at 3-0. Pham hit his 18th homer leading off the third, and Matt Duffy’s two-run double in the fourth made it 8-1.

Pham went deep again in the eighth for his seventh career multihomer game. The homer was off 45-year-old Bartolo Colon, who was pitching in relief for the first time since his last start Sept. 5.

Tampa Bay posted shutout victories in the first two games of the series. The Rangers finally ended a season-long scoreless drought of 23 innings in the third when Carlos Tocci singled and went home on Elvis Andrus’ two-out single.

STREAKS AND SWEEPS

The Rays clinched their fourth sweep in nine series since Aug. 20, and their 12th series sweep of the season matched a club record. Tampa Bay has also won five consecutive games, the seventh time this season it won at least that many games in a row.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Reliever Matt Bush has had surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament that will keep him out the first half of the 2019 season. … Dr. Keith Meister, the Rangers team physician, also Wednesday repaired torn cartilage in the right knee of reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who is expected to be ready for spring training. … OF Joey Gallo was out of the lineup for the third straight day because of swelling in his right little toe.

UP NEXT

Rays: Tampa Bay starts its final road series Thursday night with the first of four games at Toronto.

Rangers: After their last scheduled off day of the season Thursday, the Rangers open their final home series against Seattle on Friday night.

___

By Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press.

The post Rays Continue Surging With 9-2 Win Over Rangers appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Does Trouble in Pittsburgh Mean a Bucs Win on Monday Night Football? – Rock Riley Show 9/18

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 18:33

On today’s episode, Rock is talking about the trouble in Pittsburgh as Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown did not show up to the facility Monday and running back Le’Veon Bell is in Miami riding jet skis.  Does all this mean a win Monday night is in the bag?  What about the college scene?  Rock is also talking about Sports Talk Florida’s college rankings of the teams here in Florida.

 

 

Guests on today’s show:

Ryan Bass, WTSP Sports Anchor- Decision Bucs will have to make once Winston’s suspension is up as well as updates from around the state in college football.

Tim Williams, Sports Talk Florida- Reveals Sports Talk Florida’s college football rankings and discusses the great play of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Lee Diekemper, JoeBucsFan.com- Updates from One Buc Place and previewing the Monday Night Football game against the Steelers.

The post Does Trouble in Pittsburgh Mean a Bucs Win on Monday Night Football? – Rock Riley Show 9/18 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Buccaneers’ Early Success Isn’t All About the Quarterback

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 17:52
The narrative around Fitzpatrick and Winston dominates, but the Bucs aren’t winning because of passers


In winning their first two games to the surprise of just about every human being that follows the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have received stellar performances from dozens of professional football players. The offensive line has been spectacular. The defensive line in week two stepped up and helped get a few critical stops. Tampa Bay’s stable of passing targets have been incredible, so good and so deep that tight end Cameron Brate has not even caught a pass yet.

Yet when hearing people talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ start, almost all of the credit has been given specifically to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. This has become so common that you are less likely to hear that the Bucs have won two games than you are to hear that Ryan Fitzpatrick has won two games.

Evaluating quarterbacks on wins and losses is a fool’s errand in football. Quarterbacks do nothing singlehandedly, and even the best quarterbacks are often products of the coaching and the teammates around them. So while Ryan Fitzpatrick has been as good as he’s been at any point in an admittedly up-and-down career, looking to him as the singular cause of the Buccaneers’ surprising start misses the point of what the Tampa Bay offense has done.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the talk of Tampa Bay, as well he should be. The Harvard man looks about as good as he has at any point in his NFL career, as good against NFL teams as he looked beating up FCS teams fifteen years ago during a blessed Harvard season in which the Crimson might very well have won the FCS National Championship if they had played in the postseason.

Fitzpatrick has, of course, been fantastic in the two games. With over 400 yards in each game and four touchdowns in both, he is the top passer statistically in the entire league at the moment.

These are not incidental numbers, or something that can be written off as the product of bad defense and teams caught off guard. Fitzpatrick’s individual performance has been about as good as anyone could expect, to the point that it is difficult to imagine anybody in the NFL, no matter how much more accomplished, playing better through two weeks.

This of course complicates the question of what to do about Jameis Winston. If Winston comes in, he certainly couldn’t produce much more than Fitzpatrick thus far.

Of course, the rest of the offense and their success needs to be considered. Winston has never played behind an offensive line as good as the Buccaneers’ line has been this season to this point. He has never played a regular season game with Todd Monken calling plays, so far a clear upgrade from Dirk Koetter. When he comes in to play, he will be coming into a situation that sets him up for success. It could be suggested in the past that the Buccaneers were setting him up to fail.

Some other thoughts from around the league:

-It’s looking more and more like the mentality of kickers being interchangeable and teams being able to just pick a guy out of free agency and do fine at the position is flat out wrong. Every year it seems, more and more teams bring in new kickers only to find out that the new kicker isn’t any good. Meanwhile, notice that most of the league’s top teams have a lot of stability at kicker. Even at its extremes, the placekicker is not a position that will eat a lot of cap room. It might be time to re-evaluate the strategy.

-It’s worth wondering how many games the Jacksonville Jaguars need to win before people admit that maybe having an all-universe quarterback isn’t the one and only way to succeed in the NFL.

-Did people really think that the same Giants team that was miserable last year would magically be a contender overnight because they hired a new coach and drafted a running back?

-The Los Angeles Rams have a +54 point differential. They have played eight quarters of football. If you tally up all the other positive point differentials in the NFC, you get a combined +37.

-The Kansas City Chiefs are first in the NFL in points scored.  They have also allowed the fourth-most points in the league.

Football is a team sport, and perhaps nothing in any sport is quite as team-oriented as completing a pass in the NFL.

In baseball, teams practice relay throws to home plate in case of an emergency. To do it properly, an outfielder needs to make a good throw in, the cutoff man needs to make a flawless transition from catch to throw and nail the throw, the catcher has to make the catch, find the runner, and tag him out without blocking the plate and triggering a new rule.

In basketball, switch-off defense requires attention from every player on the floor. All five players need to be aware of where the ball is, where their teammates are, and who they’re supposed to be on. When someone runs a pick, those assignments change.

In hockey, a penalty kill requires nine different people to perform, between two PK lines and the goaltender.

To complete a pass in the NFL, you need five linemen to block defenders at least enough to give the QB time. You need a receiver to get open and make himself known to the quarterback. The playcaller needs to dial up the right play. Of course, after all of that, the quarterback needs to identify the open man and throw to him, at which point the ball still needs to be caught. In other words, a bare minimum of eight people need to do their jobs properly for an NFL team to complete a single forward pass.

Yet, in 2018, most of the credit if not all of it falls on the quarterback. If an offense isn’t good, it’s the QB’s fault. If an offense is great, it’s all the QB’s doing. This, of course, is where the FitzMagic talk comes in.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has a job to do and he is doing it well. He is running plays as drawn, finding open receivers, hitting them in stride, and quickly becoming the public face of the team. It is critical to note, however, that he could not do any of those things without the work being put in by the Buccaneers’ offensive line, the team’s wealth of passing targets, and new playcaller Todd Monken. It takes a village, as the cliché goes, but what the Bucs are raising is an offense.

Questions abound about the Buccaneers’ plans after Monday night. On Tuesday morning, Jameis Winston will be reinstated and will return to work. Whether he will do so as a starter, a player idle for the purposes of catching up after three weeks away, or persona non grata is all yet to be determined.

Remember when making your guess about what happens after Monday Night, the Buccaneers have a lot invested in Winston. The quarterback in many ways has not lived up to expectations, despite solid statistics that have improved every year, but Winston remains relatively young with a pedigree that led to him being drafted first overall.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is, for his part, in his mid thirties. Many of the players who came into the league with him have already retired. While he has helped lead the Buccaneers to a present that they never expected, Fitzpatrick is also unlikely to be a significant part of the team’s future.

Therefore, if the Buccaneers were to bench and perhaps later part ways with Winston, it means they will be looking for a long-term solution at quarterback once again. The franchise-long streak of never having signed a quarterback to a second contract would continue. The offseason would be filled with speculation about draft picks, trades, or even free agents.

At the center of this is general manager Jason Licht. While the coaching staff will be graded on team success, Licht’s performance will be heavily weighted toward Winston’s status. Licht, after all, vetted Winston heavily before drafting him first overall, and the Bucs were convinced at the time that any youthful indiscretions on his part were in his past. This offseason, Tampa Bay learned that simply was not true. If he cannot perform well enough on the field to be considered the team’s long term solution, it is worth wondering if Jason Licht will be awarded a second chance on selecting a signal-caller.

The post Buccaneers’ Early Success Isn’t All About the Quarterback appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Tampa Sports are Cooking Big Time

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 17:13

Mike Nabors fills in for Erik Kuselias and brings you all the best news surrounding the Tampa Bay sports scene. From the Bolts first exhibition game of the new season, the Bucs 2-0 start that very few saw coming, and Blake Snell with his 20th win for the Rays can the Rays make a big push at the postseason? Mike Nabors has you covered on all things in the Tampa area.

Dave Mishkin the voice of the Lightning joins to talk about the preseason expectations for the Bolts. What is his favorite call he’s made?

Ira Kaufman of Joebucsfan.com The Sage of Tampa Bay breaks down the Bucs 2-0 start. And what it means going forward.

And Charles Davis of the NFL Network joins to give a National perspective on the Bucs and Ryan Fitzmagic.

Be sure to listen to The Erik Kuselias Show live weekday mornings 7-9 on Sports Talk 1040 The Team in Tampa Bay. Or stream it at sportstalkflorida.com

The post Tampa Sports are Cooking Big Time appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Snell Joins Price In Rays 20 Win Club, Tampa Bay Shutouts Texas 4-0

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 06:50



Snell Didn’t Have It Until He Needed It


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');The Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff shutout the Texas Rangers for the second consecutive night defeating them 4-0.

It’s the Rays 14th shutout of the season and second in as many nights. Prior to last night, the Rangers hadn’t been shutout at home this season.

Blake Snell (20-5, 1.97 ERA) worked five scoreless innings allowing just one hit while striking out five and walking two. He struggled with his arsenal needing 92 pitches (58 for strikes) to get through the five frames.

In winning his 20th game of the season he becomes just the second Rays pitcher to do so joining David Price who went 20-5 in 2012. He also won his eighth straight decision and struck out his 200th batter on the season.

With the win the Rays improve to 84-66 on the season. They improve to 13-3 over their past 16 games, 22-5 since August 18 the best record in the majors, and 35-19 since the All-Star break.

The victory guarantees the Rays a series win against the Rangers improving their record to 8-0-1 in their past nine series and 11-1-1 in their past 13.

Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 5.90 ERA) takes the loss for the Rangers who fall to 64-87 on the season.

A Lot Of Hits, Not A Lot Of Runs:

Tampa Bay banged out 15 hits led by Joey Wendle with four and Jesus Sucre with three. It was Sucre’s third three hit game this season and Wendle’s first four hit game with the Rays and third of his career.

Despite the 15 hits, Tampa Bay struggled to push across runs going 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, stranding 13 runners on base.

Willy Adames blasted a 2-run homer, his 10th of the year, to give the Rays a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Joey Wendle doubled in Jesus Sucre in the fourth. Ji-Man Choi grounding into a fielders choice to score Wendle in the seventh for the final run.

‘Pen Completes Shutout:

Blake Snell gave the Rays five innings and the ‘pen delivered the final four scoreless frames.  Chaz Roe worked the sixth, Jalen Beeks the seventh and eighth, and Ryne Stanek the ninth.

Up Next For Rays:

Tampa Bay finishes their season series against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at 2:10.  The Rays lead the season series 4-1 and will send Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.24 ERA). The Rangers counter with left hander Yohander Méndez (2-1, 3.86 ERA).

 

 

 

The post Snell Joins Price In Rays 20 Win Club, Tampa Bay Shutouts Texas 4-0 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Yankees Put Boston’s AL East Celebration On Hold Behind Walker Homer

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 06:03
Judge returns to Yankees lineup in win



NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Walker hit a three-run homer, Zach Britton started a game-ending double play on New York’s third try in the ninth inning and the Yankees kept the Boston Red Sox from a bubbly celebration in the Bronx for at least another night with a 3-2 victory Tuesday.

Batting from the left side, Walker golfed a no-doubter in the seventh inning off Ryan Brasier for the Yankees’ third hit of the game and a 3-1 lead. Walker dropped his bat, admired the shot for a moment and then pointed into the Yankees dugout as he jogged to first base.

Aaron Judge returned to New York’s lineup for the first time since breaking his right wrist July 26, while AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts got a day off for Boston after injuring his left side Sunday. Judge hit a pop fly to the warning track but finished 0 for 4.

New York entered the night with a 1 1/2-game lead over Oakland for the top AL wild card. The A’s hosted the Angels later.

Boston is trying to clinch the AL East at Yankee Stadium for the second time in three years. The Red Sox lead the Yankees by 10 1/2 games and entered the night with a magic number of four over the Astros to lock up baseball’s best record.

The game started about six hours after it was supposed to begin. Originally scheduled for 1:05 p.m., it was pushed back earlier in the morning because heavy rain was in the forecast.

Britton had two on in the ninth after Brock Holt walked and Christian Vazquez reached when second baseman Gleyber Torres was unable to handle a wide feed from third on the first potential game-ending double play. Britton then scooped a short grounder by Sam Travis and threw it into center field with runners at first and third, allowing Holt to score. Ian Kinsler followed with an almost identical ball back to Britton, and the left-hander hit the target this time for the final two outs.

The Yankees had dropped 10 of 17, including a series defeat to Toronto over the weekend capped by Dellin Betances’ blown save in the eighth inning Sunday.

The bullpen had no such issues against their archrival. Chad Green (8-2) and David Robertson relieved J.A. Happ and got the ball to Britton, who capped a five-hitter for his sixth save.

Boston reliever Brandon Workman (6-1) walked two in the seventh before Walker took Brasier deep. The Red Sox bullpen wasted six scoreless innings of two-hit ball from hard-throwing starter Nathan Eovaldi.

Happ was nearly as good in muffling the Red Sox once again, allowing an unearned run over six innings. He entered as one of only four pitchers since 1923 to allow two or fewer earned runs over 10 straight starts against Boston — the others were Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson and Bruce Howard. Happ has a 1.76 ERA in his past 11 starts against the Red Sox.

Boston went ahead 1-0 with an unearned run in the third. Ian Kinsler reached on a single, took second on Happ’s balk, went to third on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez then scored on a sacrifice fly to right by J.D. Martinez.

Sanchez was booed after grounding out weakly to the pitcher in the fifth inning. He went 0 for 2 with a walk.

Walker’s home run was his 10th, giving New York 11 players with double-digit homers. That ties a major league record, last achieved by Houston last season. Luke Voit has seven homers and is probably the Yankees’ best bet to break the mark.

STAR-CROSSED

Betts would have played if not for the soggy conditions. Manager Alex Cora wrote Betts in as his center fielder at 9 a.m. but scratched him when it became clear the weather would be an issue.

Meanwhile, Yankees manager Aaron Boone slotted Judge to bat second and play right field, but only because the late start gave him and the front office a few extra hours to evaluate the reigning AL Rookie of the Year.

Judge hit an opposite-field homer to right during a series of simulated plate appearances against Yankees minor leaguer Adonis Rosa on Tuesday morning. Judge was late on some fastballs and had a number of swings and misses against Rosa, who struck out 108 over 128 1/3 innings across three minor league levels this season. A large contingent of Yankees personnel watched the session, including Boone and general manager Brian Cashman.

A good portion of the Yankee Stadium crowd stood for Judge’s first at-bat. Fans gasped when he hit a hard line drive into right field, then exhaled and clapped after Martinez easily caught it. The lineout was measured at 112 mph.

Judge hit into an inning-ending double play in the third, then drove a fly out to the warning track in the right field corner in the sixth.

JUSTUS SERVED

Top prospect Justus Sheffield was activated by the Yankees and available in the bullpen. The left-hander was moved to the bullpen at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late August as preparation for a possible call-up as a reliever. Right-hander Domingo German was also recalled from Triple-A.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Matt Barnes (hip inflammation) is set to throw a bullpen Wednesday and be re-evaluated after that. … Eduardo Nunez started at DH and said he is fully healed after experiencing right knee soreness late last week.

Yankees: Aroldis Chapman will likely be activated Wednesday or Thursday. The closer has been out since Aug. 21 with left knee tendinitis.

UP NEXT

Red Sox left-hander David Price (15-6, 3.42) faces struggling Yankees ace Luis Severino (17-8, 3.46). Price is 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break, while Severino has a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts over that same span.

___

By Jake Seiner of the Associated Press

The post Yankees Put Boston’s AL East Celebration On Hold Behind Walker Homer appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Hall of Fame Induction Boycott Could Be Possible, Say Members

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 05:59
Health insurance, revenue at issue


A group of Pro Football Hall of Famers led by Eric Dickerson is demanding health insurance coverage and a share of NFL revenues or else those former players will boycott the induction ceremonies.

In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Hall of Fame President David Baker — and obtained by The Associated Press — 21 Hall of Fame members cited themselves as “integral to the creation of the modern NFL, which in 2017 generated $14 billion in revenue.”

Among the signees were Dickerson, who is listed as chairman of the newly created Hall of Fame Board the group has formed; Jim Brown; Joe Namath; Lawrence Taylor; and Sarah White, the widow of Reggie White.

There were questions, though, about how well-organized the group was. Two players whose names are on the letter said they were not part of the boycott effort. Another name on the list of 22 signees including Sarah White was Carl Ellard, but no one by that name has played professional football. Former Vikings defensive end Carl Eller, however, is a Hall of Famer.

“The time has come for us to be treated as part of a game we’ve given so much to,” the letter states. “Until our demands are met, the Hall of Famers will not attend the annual induction ceremony in Canton. It’s well known that the NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020, and while we are proud of our role in building this league, we don’t believe 100 years of player exploitation is something to celebrate.”

The strongly worded letter called out the league for paying Goodell $40 million, saying “there are better uses for that money.” It also criticized Smith for his salary and the lack of a former player on the players’ association executive board. But there have been two former players on that executive board since 2009.

Jerry Rice, whose name is on the letter, said he wasn’t on the Hall of Fame Board. And in a statement on Twitter , the former wide receiver said he plans to support the Hall of Fame and “looks forward to attending the 100th anniversary in 2020.”

Kurt Warner also released a statement on Twitter that said he wasn’t made aware of the letter and said his name was mistakenly put on it. He said he supports the efforts for better benefits for all retired players and doesn’t believe in boycotting the Hall of Fame.

Baker said the Hall seeks to help all players, not just those enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

“Many Hall of Famers have reached out to express their support of the Hall,” he said in a statement.

“While we enshrine Hall of Famers, our mission is to serve every player who helped build this great game. We guard the legacies and seek to serve all players and not just Hall of Famers who we serve every day.”

NFL players have received a pension since the Bert Bell Plan, named after a former league commissioner, was created in 1959. In the 1993 collective bargaining agreement, a 401K plan to which players also could contribute was established, and in 1998 an annuity program was created.

“There have been significant increases in the pension with every collective bargaining agreement in the history of this sport,” said Miki Yaras-Davis, the NFLPA’s senior director of benefits.

“The normal retirement age is 55 for former players, and those players can leave in their pension (funds) and at 65 they have almost a 300 percent increase. This is one of the few defined benefit plans left in the country. It’s a program which isn’t seen much anymore that defines the benefits at a certain age.”

During the 2011 labor dispute and lockout, one of the main issues was establishing a fund for pre-1993 players. In that CBA, a “Legacy Fund” was established, with a $620 million increase in benefits, with team owners contributing out of their share of revenues for the first time. The union and the league have increased pensions three times for former players since 2011.

But the letter calls the Legacy Fund “little more than cynical public relations ploys that fail to help those who desperately need it.”

“The total cost for every Hall of Famer to have health insurance is less than $4 million — less than that of a 30-second Super Bowl ad, or about 3 cents for every $100 the league generates in revenue,” Dickerson’s letter states.

“Paying Hall of Famers an annual salary works out to about 40 cents for every $100 in annual revenue, a figure that will increase dramatically in the near future with legalized gambling.”

The disgruntled former players also took aim at the expansion of the Hall of Fame into a village that Baker has estimated will eventually cost $1 billion. The NFL provides significant funding for the hall, but equally significant costs for the project are funded elsewhere.

Also, the Hall of Fame village plans a player care center called Legend’s Landing that provides independent and assisted living for retired Hall of Famers as well as “members of the NFL’s legends community, along with coaches, officials and administrators,” according to the Hall of Fame’s website. A health care center also is part of the expansion.

The letter’s demands cover the 318 members of the Hall of Fame, but it says it hopes to create “a template for active players in the next round of (labor) negotiations.” Those talks would come in 2021 when the current CBA expires.

Other Hall of Famers listed on the letter are:

Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, John Randle, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Jackie Smith.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

The post Hall of Fame Induction Boycott Could Be Possible, Say Members appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Nationals Ride Strasburg’s 11 Strikeouts Past Marlins

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 05:53
4-2 win gets Strasburg win after strong six innings



MIAMI (AP) — Stephen Strasburg matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts and Bryce Harper tied a career-high with five walks as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night.

Anthony Rendon drove in two runs for the Nationals (77-75), who entered Tuesday’s game 7 ½ games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves and 7 games back in the race for the final wild card spot.

Strasburg (9-7) pitched six innings and allowed two runs and five hits with two walks. At one point, he struck out six consecutive batters.

Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 26 opportunities.

Peter O’Brien hit his third home run of the season and J.T. Realmuto had two hits and knocked in a run for the Marlins.

Adam Eaton and Trea Turner had consecutive RBI singles in the second inning to give the Nationals an early lead.

O’Brien’s solo homer off Strasburg cut the Marlins’ deficit to 2-1.

Rendon’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 3-1, but Realmuto pulled Miami within 3-2 with a base hit in the fifth.

Rendon’s single in the sixth pushed Washington’s advantage to 4-2.

Sandy Alcantara pitched four innings for the Marlins and allowed six hits, six walks, and three runs.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.53 ERA) will begin a four-game series against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-2, 7.36) will take the mound on Thursday when Miami begins the final home series of the season, a four-game set against Cincinnati.

___

By Christopher Stock of the Associated Press.

The post Nationals Ride Strasburg’s 11 Strikeouts Past Marlins appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

South Korea Wants North Korea To Be Part Of A 2032 Olympics Bid

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 23:57

Sports diplomacy?

 

 

The International Olympic Committee may have a new entry into what is getting to be a crowded field of areas vying for the 2032 Summer Olympics. The Korean Peninsula. South Korea’s Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan is pushing the notion that a North Korea-South Korea Olympics would work and strengthen the ties between the two countries. Whether the rest of the world would support a Korean Peninsula bid is unknown and whether North Korea, which at best is an impoverished country really wants to join South Korea is not really known either. Whether the United States would support a 2032 Summer Olympics bid on the Korean Peninsula seems to be in doubt at this point. Not much has happened since the Trump-Kim Jong Un summit and the United States technically remains at war with North Korea, a conflict that started in 1950 and sort of ended with a 1953 truce. However there have been scattered skirmishes over the past 65 years.

North Korea and South Korea have occasionally joined together in Olympics events over the years with North Korean athletes participating in the 2018 South Korea Winter Games. But there was an uneasiness surrounding those Games and the IOC President Thomas Bach contended that the event was “very close” to being canceled because of North Korean missile tests and a military threat against South Korea. Eventually, North Korea did agree to send athletes to South Korea.  North Korea has committed to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and in the 2022 Beijing Games. It is hard to say that North Korea and the United States have a better relationship since the summit but there seems to be a line of communication between the two countries. Meanwhile it appears that countries are back in the Olympics bidding business despite massive money losses in Brazil and South Korea in the last two Olympics. The Games must go on.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, left, is escorted by South Korea’s Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn for a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool Photo via AP)

The post South Korea Wants North Korea To Be Part Of A 2032 Olympics Bid appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

The Best Time to be a Tampa Sports Fan is NOW

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 17:15

Mike Nabors filling in for EK and he’s covering everything you could possibly want! Is this the best time to be a Tampa sports fan? Mike sure seems to think so. The Bucs are 2-0, The Bolts are one of the leading favorites to reach the Stanley Cup, and the Rays are 21-5 since August 19th! The excitement is electric and hopefully, it continues for the Big 3 Tampa Teams.


An all-star cast of guests featured on the program!

Roy Cummings with PewterPirates.com has all the latest Bucs news after a big week 2 win over the Eagles.

Chris Doering of the SEC Network previews the Gators and Tennessee matchup.

Eric Erlendsson talks the Bolts ahead of the NHL season getting underway when the Lightning host the Carolina Hurricanes.

And Neil Solondz joins to discuss all things Rays, from the minors to the majors Neil fills you in.

All that and much more. The Erik Kuselias Show Weekdays Mornings 7-9 on Sports Talk 1040 The Team. Or Stream it Live at Sportstalkflorida.com

The post The Best Time to be a Tampa Sports Fan is NOW appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Road Trip Opens With Shutout, Tyler Glasnow Gets First Win With Rays

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 06:02



Glasnow Stellar In First Ever Scoreless Start


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');The Tampa Bay Rays became the first team to shutout the Texas Ranger in their home park this season defeating them 3-0 Monday night. It’s the Rays 13th shutout of the season.

How It Happened:

Tyler Glasnow (2-6, 4.22 ERA) picks up his first win since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31st.  Sergio Romo secured the win working a scoreless ninth to pick up his 22nd save of the season. The victory improve the Rays record to 17 games over .500 at 83-66 on the season.

Tampa Bay is 12-3 over their past 15 games, 21-6 since August 19 (best in MLB), and 34-19 since the All-Star break. They pick up a 1/2-game against the idle Oakland Athletics and are 6 1/2 games out of the second wild card (6 in the loss column) with 13 games to play.

Glasnow went six scoreless innings allowing just a pair of hits while striking out six, walking two, and hitting a batter.  The outing marks the first scoreless start in his big league career (26th start).

Tampa Bay scored their first run in the first inning on a Ji-Man Choi single driving in Mallex Smith. Choi provided the second run in the sixth inning belting his tenth homer, a solo shot to straight away center. Jake Bauers delivered a sacrifice fly to score Willy Adames with the third run in the seventh.

Adam Kolarek took over for Glasnow and worked a scoreless seventh. He has pitched to a 1.82 ERA (5-ER/24.2-IP) over his last 21 appearances spanning two stints since July 22. Prior to that he had pitched to a 12.79 ERA in his first five appearances.

Jose Alvarado, not to be outdone by Kolarek, worked a scoreless eighth. He extended his scoreless streak to 15 straight appearances dating back to August 16th. In that span he has allowed just one hit in 12 innings while striking out 22 and walking just three.

Sergio Romo finished the ninth inning working a scoreless ninth in picking up his 22nd save on the year.

Adrian Sampson (0-2, 4.09 ERA) takes the loss for the Rangers who fall to 64-86 on the season.

Up Next For Rays: AP Photo/Steve Nesius

Tampa Bay and Texas play the middle game of their three game series on Tuesday night at 8:05. Blake Snell (19-5, 2.03 ERA) will attempt to join David Price in the Rays’ 20-win club.  Texas counters with Yovani Gallardo (8-5, 6.67 ERA).

 

The post Road Trip Opens With Shutout, Tyler Glasnow Gets First Win With Rays appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

The NHL Wants To Develop China As A Hockey Hotbed

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 02:53

Games and merchandise in China.

 

 

The National Hockey League is finishing the annual promotion of its product in China with a second pre-season game in the country between the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames in Beijing. The National Hockey League and China have one common goal, grow the game in China although there are different reasons that the NHL and China have in achieving that goal. Part of the NHL’s want is to sell more merchandise and get more eyeballs in front of televisions or streaming videos in the world’s largest country by population. There is money to be made and perhaps eventually, China will develop some players that could be good enough to come to North America and play. China has the 2022 Winter Olympics and will ice a team during the Beijing two week sports affair. As of now, the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and the 31 owners will not give their approval to allow NHL players to participate in the Beijing tournament.

The NHL’s hierarchy dispute is with the International Olympic Committee over money. The National Hockey League wants China as a market and the Olympics would be a good showcase for the sport but unless the IOC opens its wallet, the NHL will just market itself in China. The Russian-backed Kontinental Hockey League, which is touted as the second best professional league in the world, has a franchise in Beijing. The team just hired Wayne Gretzky as its global ambassador and his job is to grow the game in China through clinics and hockey schools. Gretzky will not be connected to the NHL’s market efforts in China. China has become a solid market for the National Basketball Association and NBA will be traveling to the country to play pre-season games in October. Major League Baseball has a presence in China, the NFL does not. Sports owners like yuans.

 

Boston and Calgary are playing pre-season games in China.

The post The NHL Wants To Develop China As A Hockey Hotbed appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

FitzMagic the Talk of the Town After Big Win

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 02:17

On today’s episode, Rock is breaking down what he saw from the Buccaneers and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Statistically, Fitzpatrick and WR DeSean Jackson have more yards at their respective positions than anyone else after two weeks of play.  Is this a temporary high for Bucs fans? What should the Bucs do with QB Jameis Winston once his suspension is served?  All that and much more on The Rock Riley Show.

 

Guests on today’s episode:

John Sabol, ABC Action News – Bucs hot start and the QB situation in the coming weeks.

Pete Williams, Author – Talking about his book on the 2005 QB draft class that included Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Shane Stafford, Former Arena League QB – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs unforeseen 2-0 start.

Listen to The Rock Riley Show weekdays from 3-6 on AM 1040 The Team and SportsTalkFlorida.com

The post FitzMagic the Talk of the Town After Big Win appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

FSU Drops In Florida Rankings After Week 3

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 21:27
Seminoles’ second loss sends them plummeting, and a tie emerges for second place


After three weeks of the college football regular season, one thing is clear: Florida State’s transition to new head coach Willie Taggart is very much a work still in progress.

A second loss, this one at the hands of Syracuse, puts the Seminoles at 0-2 inside the ACC and 1-2 overall, with their one win coming by a hair at the expense of Samford. Florida State is firmly in last place in the ACC’s Atlantic division.

When ranking the seven Bowl Subdivision schools in the state of Florida, this has sent Florida State ever lower. The Seminoles hold the worst record in the state at the moment, and they got multiple votes to be ranked last in our seven team ranking. The ‘Noles did avoid that fate, but only barely.

The rankings:

1: University of Central Florida Knights (last week: 1) – The Knights were unable to play this past week due to Hurricane Florence. As the Knights came into last week with the top ranking, and have held it throughout the season to this point, voters could not bring themselves (for the most part) to knock UCF out of that top spot.

2(t): University of South Florida Bulls (last week: 2) – We have our very first tie in the Florida rankings! South Florida retains at least a share of the second spot on the list. It is worth noting that, at the moment, all seven FBS Florida schools combine for two victories against Power 5 Conference opponents. Both of those wins were provided by USF.

2(t): Miami Hurricanes (last week: 3) – “Miami rolls past Toledo as quarterback Malik Rosier (5 total TDs) is putting Miami’s QB questions to bed for the time being.” -Jaquan Cathey

4: Florida Gators (last week: 4) – “A bad loss for Gators doesn’t drop them too far for me.  I’d probably rank Gators ahead of Miami because I think the talent base overall is better at UF and will show itself at some point during the season.” -Steve Kinsella

5: Florida Atlantic Owls (last week: 6) – “A little too uneven of a performance against FCS Bethune Cookman for my liking. Still, Devin Singletary (5 TDs) may have gotten himself on track, which would be bad new for CUSA foes.” -Tom Layberger

6: Florida State Seminoles (last week: 5) – “Florida State’s biggest problem continues to be the offensive line play. Willie Taggart needs to get something going in Tallahassee or the longest active bowl streak may be in jeopardy. In two games against FBS opponents the Seminoles have led for zero minutes and zero seconds and scored a total of ten points. Not a good start for the Taggart era. The Seminoles certainly need to “Do Something” in order to turn this nightmare around.” -Tim Mallard

7: Florida International Panthers (last week: 7) – Butch Davis’ program still has a long way to go, and while they have a better record than Florida State, many voters are still reluctant to bring them out of the basement.

The post FSU Drops In Florida Rankings After Week 3 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.

Categories: Florida Sports News

Bortles Torches New England: The Takeaway

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 19:00
Jacksonville Shift’s Balance of Power in the AFC with Statement Win Over New England

Jacksonville, FL — With temperatures reaching triple digits at the 4:25 kickoff between the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0) and New England Patriots (1-1), it’s fitting that Jags quarterback Blake Bortles came out on fire.

In his best game as a professional, most meaningful regular season game as a pro, Bortles is shaking off the “game-manager” label. Bortles finished the game with 377 yards, four touchdowns, and pick off a dropped/tipped pass.

The Jags took a 21-3 lead into halftime as they seemed to be in complete control. However, the Patriots threatened as they tightened the game to a 24-13 deficit in the fourth quarter. Due to the result of last year’s AFC Championship game, Jacksonville was all gas and no brakes as Bortles threw a 61-yard touchdown pass with 7:35 left in the game.

“It’s the home opener,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said after the Jaguars took a double-digit first-quarter lead and retained it thereafter. “It’s a win. We felt comfortable going into the game. I can’t explain it any other way.”

Five Takeaways
  • Jacksonville now holds the head to head tiebreaker over the New England Patriots in concerning playoff seeding down the road.
  • The Jaguars sit atop the AFC South due to its first 2-0 start since 2006.
  • Running Leonard Fournette was inactive for Sunday’s matchup. The Jags are 4-0 when they play without their star running back.
  • It’s only been two weeks, but the Jaguars have a top-ten offense and defense. The start of something special or too soon to tell?
  • Jacksonville’s offense was clicking on all cylinders as Bortles hit nine different receivers for a completion.
Defense Still Dominant PHTO: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Jacksonville’s defense was imposing as they took on the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. The Jags held Brady and the Pats’ offense to 4-12 on third down, 2 sacks, and crucial strip-sack in Jacksonville’s lone turnover.

Defensive end Calais Campbell: “We have some ballplayers on this team. Different guys show up each and every week, and it’s fun to be a part of this defense because we have so many different guys that can play this game.”

Most notably, the Jags were able to lock down All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, holding him to 2 catches for 15 yards. The team seemed to back up Jalen Ramsey’s trash talk about Gronk earlier this month.

  • Side Note: Jacksonville Jaguars starting left tackle Cam Robinson has a torn ACL in his left knee. Robinson, 22, was a second-round draft pick of the Jaguars last year after starring in college at Alabama. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder started 15 games as a rookie last season.

Up Next: The Jaguars host third overall pick, Sam Darnold, and the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field in the midst of a three-game homestand.

 

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Categories: Florida Sports News

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