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2014 South Carolina Football Preview

By on July 31st, 2014

The South Carolina Gamecocks are gearing up for the 2014 football season. Last year their overall record was 11-2 and 4-2 in the SEC East.

In the quarterback aspect of the game, the Gamecocks lost their starting quarterback Connor Shaw to the NFL. Shaw was a huge aspect to the Gamecock offense, throwing for 1,448 yards. It’s now time for fifth year senior Dylan Thompson to take the place of Shaw; he heads into his senior season with a 3-0 record as a starter and throwing for 1,827 career yards with 14 touchdowns.

“We really believe he’s a very good player and has a chance to lead us to a big season,” coach Steve Spurrier said during his 10th SEC Media Days appearance with the Gamecocks. “He’s a fifth-year player. He’s been to all the games. He’s 3-0 as a starter and really played the entire game last year against Central Florida with Connor Shaw getting hurt in the first quarter. He was the only quarterback in the nation to beat UCF.”

Spurrier says the team must move forward without Shaw.

“We know we have to live without Clowney, (Jadaveon) we had to live without Marcus Lattimore and now we have to live without Connor Shaw,” quipped Spurrier.”

Dylan Thompson knows he is stepping into a big position.

“Being a leader is fun to me, everything you do about loving people and building these relationships is what I try to do with our team, we have a great relationship.”

Thompson knows the SEC is a tough league to play in but looks forward to the challenge.

“I’m excited about playing but its the SEC so the level of competition is going to stay the same. You will probably look up at the end of the year and their will be a good many of us in the top ten like it always is. Quarterback is one position but I still think the level of competition will be there”.

The Gamecocks received a huge loss to the defensive line when Jadeveon Clowney was drafted by the Houston Texans. Spurrier will look toward returning defensive ends Darius English and Gerald Dixon to replace Clowney.

Despite personnel losses, Spurrier says one of the main goals of the team is to win an SEC championship.

“The main goal is to win an SEC championship, hopefully these new recruits coming in  can witness the first ever SEC championship team. We have been close, but not close enough.”

The Gamecocks will open their season against the Texas A&M Aggies on August 28th.

To hear more from Spurrier and the Gamecocks click below:

Spurrier talks about adding a SEC championship to the mix

Spurrier on replacing key players from the previous season  

Thompson on his leadership role

Thompson on the level of competition in the SEC

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Thursday Sports Update

By on July 31st, 2014

Some football news, hoops baseball results and some trades as the Major League Baseball trading deadline nears in our Thursday Sports Update…

** In baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins, two of the hottest teams in the game, were beaten on Wednesday.   Milwaukee blanks Tampa Bay 5-0 while Washington holds on to beat the Marlins 4-3.   The Rays are off today while the Marlins host Cincinnati.

** The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 and the teams will play again tonight.

** The trading deadline for baseball is today but some deals have already been made.   The St.Louis Cardinals acquire Cleveland starting pitcher Justin Masterson and the Boston Red Sox trade pitcher Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs.

** Arizona Cardinal cornerback Patrick Peterson becomes the NFL’s highest paid corner when he signs a new five year deal worth 70 million dollars.

** Clemson and Auburn announced they would play and home and home college football series starting in 2016.

** The Gator men’s basketball team has finalized its non-conference slate and it is a good one; home games with defending national champion Connecticut and Miami, a road game at Kansas and FSU and an appearance in a tournament in the Bahamas.

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Gator FB Gets Verbal, Rays Stay Hot, NCAA In Settlement In Wednesday Sports Update

By on July 30th, 2014

The Gator football program gets a 2015 verbal commitment; the NCAA settles a concussion lawsuit and the Tampa Bay Rays stay hot in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The Gator football program has certainly see recruits come and go over the last few days but the latest news is a new verbal commitment for the 2015 class in 6’4″ Neptune Beach wide receiver Kalif Jackson.

** The NCAA has settled a concussion lawsuit filed by several athletes by setting up a $70 million fund to test athletes for brain and head trauma.   The NCAA admits no wrongdoing in the settlement and athletes can still sue the NCAA individually if they choose to.

** In baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays continue to play red hot baseball as they beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1; the Rays are now 10-1 since the All-Star break.

** The Miami Marlins are also playing good baseball as they beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 for their ninth win in their last 10 games.

** Baseball’s trading deadline is tomorrow afternoon but so far no blockbuster deals have been made.   Pitchers like David Price, Jon Lester and others could be on the market but so far no team has made a major roster move.

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2014 Georgia Football Preview

By on July 29th, 2014

The Georgia Bulldog football program readies for the 2014 season after going 8-5 last year overall and 5-3 in SEC play.

This season, the Dogs return six starters on offense and nine on defense.  Offensively, Georgia must replace four year starting quarterback Aaron Murray who leaves for the NFL, and his replacement looks to be senior Hutson Mason.

Aside from losing Murray, other key losses for the Bulldogs on offense are tight end Arthur Lynch as well as Rantavious Wooten and Chris Burnette.   Key defensive players lost include Garrison Smith, Connor Normans and Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Mason will be the new man in charge after backing up Murray for most of his tenure at UGA. He saw some action last season as he played the majority of the Kentucky game as well as all of the Georgia Tech and Nebraska game due to Murray’s ACL tear.

“His style of play is very much like a point guard in basketball,” said head coach Mark Richt. “He knows he’s going to be delivering the ball to the play makers and he knows that’s how the team will have success.”

Although there are differences between Mason and Murray, UGA players do not feel like there’s any drop off with Mason in control.

“Hutson is a big guy who anticipates where the ball is going to go, and he’ll throw before the receiver is open and throw them open, ” said wide receiver Chris Conley.

Running back Todd Gurley, who ran for 989 yards on 165 attempts in 2013, is expected to be back at 100 percent after an ankle injury slowed him in the second half of the season.  According to Gurley, the team did train differently this summer after last season’s injuries.

“Mostly it was a lot of maintenance work…. just trying to work on knees and balance, just the core work,” Gurley said.

Linebacker Ramik Wilson who led the SEC with 133 tackles last season is excited for the upcoming season.

“I like the new class that was brought in,” said Wilson. “We have all the tools and talent to be great. ”

The Bulldogs will open their season against the Clemson Tigers on August 30th, and then play South Carolina the following week.

“Obviously, two of the best teams in the country, both from South Carolina, it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Richt said.

To hear more from Richt and the Bulldogs, click below:

Richt 2

Conley 2

Gurley 5

Wilson 2

Richt 3

 

 

 

 

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Gator FB Loses Recruit, Baseball, Former Gator Cut In NFL, In Tuesday Sports Update

By on July 29th, 2014

Not a  great day for the Gator football team in recruiting, a former Gator football player is let go in the NFL and some baseball results in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The Gator football program has seen better days on the recruiting trail after what took place on Monday.   Tampa running back Ray-Ray McCloud III chose Clemson over Florida in an announcement yesterday and the Gators, according to several reports, also lose 2015 verbal commitment cornerback Marcus Lewis.

** Former Gator running back Chris Rainey has been released by the Indianapolis Colts for a violation of team rules.   The Colts did not specify what rule Rainey did not follow.

** The NFL has defended a two game suspension given to running back Ray Rice after video showed him dragging his then girlfriend from an elevator after an alleged altercation.   Women’s groups and others have said the suspension is too light.

** In baseball action, Atlanta blanks San Diego 2-0; Miami rallies big to beat Washington 7-6 and Tampa Bay stays hot with a 2-1 win over Milwaukee.

** In NBA news, a judge has ruled that Shelly Sterling, the wife of embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, can sell the team.   The decision can be appealed.

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FB Recruiting, Baseball, Racing In Monday Sports Update…

By on July 28th, 2014

News on the Gator football recruiting front, racing, baseball and Hall of Fame in our Monday Sports Update…

** According to media reports the Gator football team has lost the verbal commitment from Orlando’s Jalen Julius but UF could get one from Tampa running back Ray-Ray McCloud III who is set to announce his decision tonight.

** Gator football practice begins a week from today.

** The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame officially has six new members after pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, first baseman Frank Thomas and managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa were inducted in Cooperstown yesterday.

** In Sunday baseball, Tampa Bay had its nine game win streak snapped 3-2 by Boston; the Rays host Milwaukee tonight.   Miami completes a sweep of Houston with a 4-2 win over Houston and Atlanta downs San Diego 8-3.   The Braves play the Padres again today while Miami takes on Washington.

** Jeff Gordon wins his fifth Brickyard 400 race in Indianapolis on Sunday.   He first won the race 20 years ago.

** Italian Vincenzo Nibali wins the Tour de France bike race in Paris on Sunday.

 

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Friday Night Lights, Baseball HOF Inductions, More In Friday Sports Update

By on July 25th, 2014

A lot happening today in our Friday Sport Update…

** The Gator football program is hosting its annual “Friday Night Lights” for some of the top high school players in the country.   Many highly rated prospects on both sides of the ball are scheduled to be in town tonight.

** Major League Baseball will have a crowed Hall of Fame class when inductions take place this weekend in Cooperstown, New York.   Pitcher Tom Glavine, first baseman Frank Thomas and managers Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox are all to be inducted.

** In MLB action, Miami nips Atlanta 3-2 and now the Marlins will face the Houston Astros this weekend while Atlanta will play San Diego.   Tampa Bay will host Boston.

** The Brickyard 400 auto race takes place Sunday in Indianapolis with Ryan Newman the defending champion.

** In NFL news, Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended two games for conduct detrimental to the NFL after a domestic violence issue in the off season.

** In more NFL news, Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been arrested again and charged with possession of pot in his native Oklahoma but the Jags say he will stay with the team.

** The Tampa Bay Bucs are opening their training camp today.

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Thursday Sports Update…Rays Hot, Football Tix, More…

By on July 24th, 2014

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to play great baseball, Gator football single game tickets go on sale and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** In baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays move to within five games of the elusive .500 mark after blanking St.Louis 3-0 Wednesday.   The Rays are off today.

** Atlanta moves to within a game of Washington in the NL East with a 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins; the teams play again today.

** Single game football tickets for Gator home games are now on sale.   They are available on a first come, first served basis.

** The University of Georgia has dismissed sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor from the team after reports surfaced that he has been charged with allegedly using his hands to choke and hit his girlfriend.

** Former South Carolina wide receiver Sidney Rice has announced his retirement from the NFL.   Rice was productive in his short career but he suffered numerous injuries and concussions that led to his retirement.

** The Tour de France continues today.

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Wednesday Sports Update: Baseball, Football, Hoops!

By on July 23rd, 2014

A little of this and a little of that in our Wednesday Sports Update with a lot of current and former Gators in the news today…

** In baseball, Tampa Bay beats St.Louis 7-2 and Miami nips Atlanta 6-5; both match ups take place again tonight.

** Former Gator pitcher Paco Rodriguez has been optioned to Triple A by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a roster move.

** Former Gator basketball player Erik Murphy reportedly has been traded by the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a multi-player swap designed to give the Cavs more cap room to sign Kevin Love.

** Former Gator football player Darrin Kitchens has been released by the Buffalo Bills.

** Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Ace Sanders is facing a four game suspension; Sanders would not disclose the reason for the suspension other than to say he has some “personal issues” he is trying to deal with right now.

** The Tour de France continues with its 17th stage today.

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British Open, Baseball, Football In Sports Update

By on July 17th, 2014

One of golf’s major tournaments gets underway, big league baseball set to resume and SEC Football Media Days winds down in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The British Open is now underway and the action will take place all weekend at Royal Liverpool In Hoylake, England.   You can see the action early (like at 6 and 7 am) if you want to watch it on TV.

** Major League Baseball resumes regular season activity Friday after the All-Star break.   Atlanta will play Philadelphia, Miami hosts San Francisco and the Tampa Bay Rays will play in Minnesota this weekend.

** SEC Football Media Days has its final day today in Hoover, Alabama.   Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia and Kentucky will be at the podium with coaches and players.

** NFL training camps are starting to open around the country.   The Jacksonville Jaguars have come to a contract agreement with former USC wide receiver Marquise Lee as well.

** Former Gator Delisha Milton-Jones will miss the rest of the WNBA season after she hurt her Achilles tendon; she plays for the Atlanta Dream.

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