Here is the latest Big Ten Conference sports news from The Associated Press | Minnesota ...

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State hopes to shore up its defense by hiring Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day ...

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Zurdo Ramirez ready to face 'dangerous fighter' Yunieski Gonzalez - FIGHTMAG

Former world champion and undefeated contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) hosted a media workout today ahead of his WBA light heavyweight title eliminator against Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-3, 17 KOs) on Saturday, December 18 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. Check out below what he had to say about the upcoming bout. The date when the event airs live in the UK and Australia is Sunday, December 19.

Zurdo vs Gonzalez tickets to witness all the action on the fight date at the venue are on sale, and can be purchased through Vivid Seats. Other boxing fans around the world can watch the fight live stream on DAZN.

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez: I’m ready for big challenges

“I think my fight against Sullivan Barrera this past July, showed my strengths as a fighter. I was able to put on a great performance and show everyone that I am someone to take note of in the light heavyweight division. Barrera had a lot of experience, he had faced many great champions and I stopped him. No one had stopped him like I did, and I think that showed that I am ready for big challenges in the division.”

“San Antonio, has a big boxing fanbase and that is big for me and my career as a fighter. I have fought there before and people love my style of boxing, so they can expect a great performance from me on December 18.”

What Zurdo Ramirez and Yunieski Gonzalez had to say on media call

“Gonzalez is a dangerous fighter. He accepted the fight to face me and that makes me think that he wants everything that I have and I am not going to let him take anything away from me. I have been training so hard to get to this level and I am not going to let anyone get in my way.”

Get the Zurdo vs Gonzalez full fight card and start time.

Links to streaming or pay-per-view platforms provided on this page, if any, are affiliate links. We will be paid a commission, with no extra cost to you, if you use those links to make a purchase.

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Tottenham vs Rennes: Prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news, h2h results

Tottenham’s must-win Europa Conference League clash with Rennes is still expected to go ahead despite a Covid outbreak at the club.

Having recently built up a head of steam wins three Premier League wins on the bounce, Spurs’ plans have been derailed after a number of positive tests.

Still, after losing to NS Mura last month, Antonio Conte needs to beat Thursday’s French opposition in order to guide Spurs through to the next round. Quite how much this competition truly means to him remains to be seen of course but, frankly, a group stage exit would be embarrassing given the profile of teams they have been drawn against.

If there was one thing that the loss away in Slovenia was that Conte’s second-string aren’t in good form.

Should he need to rely on them (Ryan Sessegnon aside following his red card against Mura), it could be a difficult evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Date, kick-off time and venue:

The Europa Conference League meeting is scheduled for an 8pm GMT kick-off on Thursday December 9, 2021.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London will host.

How to watch Tottenham vs Rennes

TV channel: The game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate.

Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be ale to watch the game through either their website or the BT Sport App.

LIVE coverage: Get minute-by-minute updates through Standard Sport’s LIVE blog. Dan Kilpatrick will be reporting live from the ground.

Tottenham vs Rennes team news

Given the recent news about the Covid outbreak at Tottenham, expect team news to be released gradually.

UEFA rules stipulate that the fixture would only be in jeopardy if a club has fewer than 13 players or no registered goalkeeper available.

Tottenham vs Rennes prediction

Clearly, it’s hard to predict the outcome without knowing who could be ruled out by, with Spurs needing to win, you’d back Conte to find a result from somewhere, particularly at home.

Head to head (h2h) history and results

Tottenham wins: 0

Draws: 1

Rennes wins: 0

Read More

Uefa expect Tottenham vs Rennes clash to go ahead as planned despite Covid outbreak

Tottenham rocked by Covid-19 outbreak ahead of busy festive schedule and Europa Conference League clash

Oliver Skipp proving Tottenham stay was right decision but ready to make ‘more improvements’ under Conte

Antonio Conte thanks Tottenham fans for their support and talks up ‘responsibility’ to earn their praise

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ROH wrestler Shane Taylor discusses learning from The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes ...


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Pro Wrestling Torch columnist Sean Radican interviewed ROH veteran Shane Taylor in a VIP exclusive podcast. Taylor discussed a wide-variety of topics including the formation of Shane Taylor Promotions, his reaction to hearing ROH was going on hiatus and what the atmosphere was like at the TV taping that took place shortly after, his relationship with Keith Lee, Darius Lockhart’s tweet about black wrestling building from within, and his to his upcoming Fight Without Honor match against Kenny King at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle 2021 PPV.

The following are quotes from Taylor about what he learned from being around The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) and Cody Rhodes when they were in Ring of Honor together, his recent challenge on Twitter to the SuperKliq to face Shane Taylor Promotions, moving Shane Taylor Promotions as a whole to a new promotion, and whether or not they have had serious talks yet with other wrestling promotions.

-Taylor was asked if he learned anything about branding himself from working with The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes when they were on the same roster together in Ring of Honor. Taylor said he learned a lot from watching what they did to market themselves and grow their own brand. “Of course, youre not really doing yourself any favors if you’re not trying to learn from everybody and why would you not try to learn from The Bucks and Learn from Cody, guys who have built an empire,” said Taylor.

“They built an entire company off of their self promotion… Definitely taking and learning from afar as much as I can about what they were doing, the moves they were trying to make, and just putting your hat in as many rings as possible. You got to respect everything that they’ve done. The run that they’re on, it’s legendary. Definitely got to try to learn from that as much as possible and apply it to your own way of doing things as much as you can.”

-Taylor was also asked about making a challenge to SuperKliq (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson & Adam Cole) recently on Twitter and whether or not he’s heard anything back from the other side. Taylor said he hasn’t heard anything from them. “I haven’t heard anything back, “said Taylor. “Here’s the thing, right. If you’re going to say you’re the best trio in professional wrestling, you have every right to feel that way. The problem is they have things that determine the best trio in wrestling primarily being championships that determine who is the best trio in wrestling.

“The last time I checked, the SuperKliq didn’t have any championships to say that they are the best trios in wrestling. We do. Especially since your EVPs, especially since you have all of the ability all of the stroke to say hey we want to challenge these guys or we really want to see who the best is, all of that is possible. So, my point to them was hey, if you haven’t faced us, I don’t care who else you beat. I don’t care who else thinks that they want to try to jump the line. We’re the ones that are here right now holding championships that say we are the best trio in this sport and if you’re not in there with us or you haven’t beat us, don’t call yourself the best. You might be the most popular. You can call yourselves that. You might be the most chanted. You can call yourselves that, but don’t call yourselves the best.”

-Taylor was asked about the challenge of moving all of the members of Shane Taylor Promotions to a new organization. Taylor admitted that it would be difficult for them to move as a unit to a new company, but he thinks it is possible given the value they present to a wrestling company.“It’s a challenge for sure,” said Taylor. “It’s not going to be easy to move those contracts at once. We understand that, but in this sport it’s about what you’re going to make on the back end. I believe that the return on investment for Shane Taylor Promotions as a collective is going to be tenfold and we are to be very very special and ven just the last two years understanding that the rise we’ve had has been 99% just self promotion and us going out there and performing to the very best of our ability and the people that we’ve had a chance to work with going out there and performing to the best of their ability and just building a brand and a following off of that alone and so for me the idea of having corporate backing that want to market and promote us as much as possible only makes me think were only to become bigger and better as time moves on.”

As a follow up Taylor was asked if the contract he had had so far had gotten serious. Taylor said talks had gotten to the serious stage with a few companies. “Talks have been serious with a few,” said Taylor. “Obviously you know we’re all kind of just waiting to see how the landscapes shake out and things like that, so a lot of options are on the table and we’re kind of just waiting to see what happens.”

You can watch ROH’s Final Battle 2021 on PPV, Honor Club, and Fite.tv.

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch

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76ers vs. Hornets: How to Watch, Live Stream & Odds for Monday Night - Sports Illustrated

The Philadelphia 76ers kickstarted a four-game road trip last Wednesday against the Boston Celtics. In an ugly matchup against their Eastern Conference rival, the Sixers fell short and took on their 11th loss of the year.

In the following game, the Sixers faced the Atlanta Hawks for the second time this year. After getting sweet revenge after last year's playoff loss by dominating the Hawks in the first outing back in October, the Sixers looked to make it two in a row over Atlanta.

Although the second matchup between Atlanta and Philly went down to the wire, the Sixers came out on top and avoided falling into a losing record on Friday. Now, the 76ers will look to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since November 6 on Monday when they take on the Charlotte Hornets.

Monday's matchup will mark the first of a two-game series between the Sixers and the Hornets. Unfortunately for Charlotte, they'll miss several players as LaMelo Ball, Jaden McDaniels, Terry Rozier, and Mason Plumlee have all been entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Sixers are slowly but surely getting fully healthy as they could have most, if not all, of their key rotational players back in the mix on Monday. Plan on tuning in to watch the Sixers and the Hornets battle it out? Here's everything you need to know!

Game Details

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets

Date: Monday, December 6, 2021

Time: 7:00 PM EST.

Location: Spectrum Center

How to Watch

76ers TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Hornets TV Broadcast: Bally Sports Southeast 

76ers Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

Hornets Listen: WFNZ 102.5 FM 

Live Stream: Click Here

Odds

Spread: Sixers -6.5 

Moneyline: PHI -275, CHA +225

Total O/U: 216.5

*All Odds are Provided by SI Sportsbook

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42-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez marches towards boxing milestone in exclusive 50-0 club - Philboxing


 

42-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez marches towards boxing milestone in exclusive 50-0 club

PhilBoxing.com
Tue, 07 Dec 2021

43rd pro fight Dec. 18 vs. Yunieski Gonzalez on DAZN

LAS VEGAS (December 6, 2021) – As he marches towards a special boxing milestone, former World Boxing Organization Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs), now an undefeated world light heavyweight contender, will be fighting Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez on December 18th for his 43rd consecutive victory.

Ramirez vs. Gonzalez headlines a DAZN-streamed card, presented by Ramirez’ promoter Golden Boy Promotions, in a 12-round WBA Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator from San Antonio (TX) with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger for World Boxing Association Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs), assuming the Kyrgyzstan-native gets past Umar Salamov (26-1, 19 KOs) on Dec. 11th in Russia.

The 30-year-old Ramirez is fighting for membership in the exclusive 50-Club, winning his first 50 professional fights without a loss or draw. Ramirez’ idol and fellow Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez, holds the record in that category by winning his first 87, his first blemish coming in 1993 in a 12-round majority draw with the great Pernell Whitaker in their WBC World welterweight title fight.
_________________________________________________________________

BOXING’S 50-0 CLUB

1. Julio “J.C. Cesar Chavez 87 (13 KOs) 1980-1993 México
2. Willie “Wil ‘O The Wisp” Pep 62 (23 KOs) 1940-1943 USA
3. Wanheng Menayothin 54 (18 KOs) 2009-2019 Thailand
4. Carlos “Canas” Zarate 52 (51 KOs) 1970-1978 México
5. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 50 (27 KOs) 1996-2017 USA
_________________________________________________________________

“The 50-0 Club is a very exclusive list I’m proud to be working toward,” Ramirez said. “All fighters go through ups and downs and understand the blood, sweat and tears to achieve anything in this sport. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be in the position I’m in today and I will never stop giving it my all in the sport. Hopefully, when I’m finished, I can leave a legacy in the sport that I can be proud of.”



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Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs. Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez Dec. 18, Zurdo aims for 50-0 club

42-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez marches towards boxing milestone in exclusive 50-0 club 43rd pro fight Dec. 18 vs. Yunieski Gonzalez on DAZN

LAS VEGAS (December 6, 2021) – As he marches towards a special boxing milestone, former World Boxing Organization Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs), now an undefeated world light heavyweight contender, will be fighting Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez on December 18th for his 43rd consecutive victory.

Ramirez vs. Gonzalez headlines a DAZN-streamed card, presented by Ramirez’ promoter Golden Boy Promotions, in a 12-round WBA Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator from San Antonio (TX) with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger for World Boxing Association Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs), assuming the Kyrgyzstan-native gets past Umar Salamov (26-1, 19 KOs) on Dec. 11th in Russia.

The 30-year-old Ramirez is fighting for membership in the exclusive 50-Club, winning his first 50 professional fights without a loss or draw. Ramirez’ idol and fellow Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez, holds the record in that category by winning his first 87, his first blemish coming in 1993 in a 12-round majority draw with the great Pernell Whitaker in their WBC World welterweight title fight.

BOXING’S 50-0 CLUB

1. Julio “J.C. Cesar Chavez 87 (13 KOs) 1980-1993 Mexico
2. Willie “Wil ‘O The Wisp” Pep 62 (23 KOs) 1940-1943 USA
3. Wanheng Menayothin 54 (18 KOs) 2009-2019 Thailand
4. Carlos “Canas” Zarate 52 (51 KOs) 1970-1978 Mexico
5. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 50 (27 KOs) 1996-2017 USA

David Benavidez & Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez

“The 50-0 Club is a very exclusive list I’m proud to be working toward,” Ramirez said. “All fighters go through ups and downs and understand the blood, sweat and tears to achieve anything in this sport. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be in the position I’m in today and I will never stop giving it my all in the sport. Hopefully, when I’m finished, I can leave a legacy in the sport that I can be proud of.”

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Tommy Fury withdraws from Jake Paul clash, Tyron Woodley steps in for Paul rematch - DAZN

Tommy Fury and Jake Paul's wait to face each other continues.

Tommy Fury’s December 18th meeting with Jake Paul is off following the withdrawal of the Brit.

The pair have been engaged in a vicious war of words for months and they were due to settle their differences in less than two weeks. 

Online personality Keemstar took to his social medial earlier Monday to confirm he had been informed by two sources that Fury was withdrawing from the eagerly anticipated battle and the news has since been confirmed by Paul.

Tyron Woodley will now face Paul in a rematch from their previous meeting earlier this year. Then, Paul emerged victorious but he was given a hard night by the former UFC star and it appears their rivalry still has some distance to run.

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Belichick's latest masterpiece truly one of a kind

One day, at least presumably, Bill Belichick will retire as head coach of the New England Patriots. It’ll offer the man, who is currently 69 years old, plenty of long afternoons to kick back at his home on Nantucket and allow the sound of breaking waves to draw his memory to his great triumphs from the past. Super Bowls. Playoff games. Comebacks. Snowstorms.

It will certainly include Monday’s victory over Buffalo, 14-10, a game that may be the most quintessential Belichickian of all time. It was a run-heavy, defense-rich, situational-strategy fest that was equal parts blunt force and disciplined thinking.

Yet there stands a chance, maybe a good one even, that as sweet as this was, including propelling the Pats to first place in the AFC, there will be a tinge of regret.

Not that New England attempted just three passes – while running it 46 times — but rather that the Patriots attempted even a single one.

“Played kind of the way we felt we needed to get the win,” Belichick said, in a classic mumble. “In the end [we] scored enough points.”

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) runs to the end zone for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Patriots running back Damien Harris scored New England's lone touchdown, a 64-yard run, in Buffalo. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

They did, but none of them were because Mac Jones went 2-for-3 for 19 yards through the air. None of those completions mattered much. The conditions were so windy and New England’s blocking schemes and hard-charging backs were so in control of the game, that passing wasn’t needed. Jones had just one attempt heading into the fourth quarter.

Perfection, true perfection, would have been to not try it at all. The concept of playing an entire NFL game without employing the forward pass would have spoken to Belichick, who values the history of the game like few others.

Had New England done it, Belichick would have been able to enter his team into a six-way tie for the fewest attempts ever in an NFL game – zero – all set by teams in games held between 1933 and 1950. (It does happen with some regularity in college, as recently as Nov. 26, when Air Force defeated UNLV 48-14 courtesy of 69 rushes and zero passes.

Not that three passes is very many. It was the fewest in the NFL since the Bills tossed it just twice in 1974. Still, three isn’t zero. In this case, nothing would have been everything.

“I've been playing football since I was 6 years old,” said center David Andrews. “[At] 6 years old we threw the ball more than three times.”

Basically, here in 2021, the Pats won with an offense out of 1921.

“Just hats off to the offense, really,” said linebacker Matthew Judon, before smiling. “Everybody, probably besides Mac. He really didn’t do anything besides hand the ball off.”

Yeah, there was a lot of laughter by the Patriots postgame and who can blame them? Now 9-4, they sit atop the AFC and carry a seven-game win streak into their bye week. Moreover, they had found a new way to torture the Bills, their AFC East punching bag of the past couple decades.

From 2001-2019, Belichick’s teams went 34-4 against Buffalo and one of those Bills victories (2014) came when he rested many of his starters for the playoffs.

Then Tom Brady left for Tampa Bay and Buffalo won both meetings last year en route to an AFC championship game appearance. New England fell to just 7-9.

The Foxborough overhaul, though, was quick. Excellent drafts, terrific free agent work and the development of Jones as the next franchise quarterback meant this game would determine first in the division and conference. And that’s when Belichick's discipline would shine.

The way to win this game, he figured, was to control the ball and the clock, avoid turnovers and ride the defense. The Pats would be aggressive only at key moments – such as going for two rather than risk kicking into the wind after the first touchdown, a conversion that put the Bills on their heels throughout.

The Bills were 7-4 coming into the game, but they had struggled to run the ball and stop the run. They are a glamour team, not built for harsh conditions. They are at their best when quarterback Josh Allen is scrambling and making plays.

So Belichick sought to snuff all of that out in the most boring way possible. Run. Run. Run. At one point, facing third-and-5, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel had Jones run a quarterback sneak, which gained 4 yards. Then, on fourth-and-1, he had him run another quarterback sneak? You don’t see that everyday.

Yet unlike a lot of places, no one on that offense pouted or complained. Wide receivers chipped in with block after block. Tight ends were essentially extra tackles. And Jones just cheerily turned and handed it off. This was a nightmare for fantasy sports players, but heaven for the Patriots.

“I’m just trying to win,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter how many times you run it or throw it, if you win everyone is going to be happy.”

Belichick and McDaniels dared Buffalo to stop them, dared them to make them put the ball in the hands of a first-year quarterback who grew up in Florida, played college ball at Alabama and as recently as 2015 said on social media he’d never seen snow before.

Buffalo didn’t do it. So that was that. The defense made some plays, the wind aided Allen's inaccuracy (15 of 30 for 145 yards) and the Pats suffocated their way to first place again.

“That’s why I’ve loved playing here,” said veteran safety Devin McCourty. “This team isn’t about one person. It isn’t about egos. It isn’t about, ‘This is what we do so we are going to keep doing it.’ It’s about winning.”

Wind. Snow. Cold. Whatever.

“Good to get the win,” Belichick said.

The only regret he’ll ever have from this one? That three passing attempts were three too many.

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Steph Curry nears Ray Allen's record, says 'anything is possible' vs. Blazers

Can Steph get Allen's record vs. Blazers? 'Anything is possible' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Steph Curry can see the finish line as he approaches Ray Allen's all-time record for most 3-pointers in NBA history.

With seven more 3-pointers in the Warriors' 126-95 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at Chase Center, Curry has 2,958 for his career, and he needs 15 more to tie Allen and 16 more to surpass the 2,973 3-pointers hit by the Hall of Famer.

Curry likely needs a minimum of two games to hit 16 points, but what are the chances he activates Flamethrower Mode against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night and gets the record at home before the Warriors head out on a long road trip?

"Anything is possible," Curry told reporters after the win over the Magic. "What is it? 15? That's funny because I know what that means if [I do it.] Klay's record and all that too. We will see."

Curry would melt the internet Wednesday if he breaks Allen's record by also breaking Klay Thompson's single-game record of 14 3-pointers.

Curry is averaging 13.2 3-point attempts per game through 23 games this season, so he would need to bomb away from 3-point range against the Blazers to have a chance. The most he has attempted this season is 20 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 28.

In the Warriors' 118-103 win over the Blazers on Nov. 26, Curry went 6-of-15 from 3-point range.

It probably helps Curry that the Blazers entered Monday's action with the worst defensive rating in the NBA (114.0 per Basketball Reference).

That doesn't necessarily mean Curry will all of a sudden jack up 25 3-point attempts to gun for the record.

"If you've seen the way I've played, especially recently, I'm not shy about shooting the ball, so the game will dictate what that looks like," Curry said. "I'm not coming out with that as a true goal of how I'll play, but crazier things have happened."

RELATED: Allen will lead Steph cheers when Warriors star breaks his record

Curry has been around the NBA his entire life, and he has great admiration for Allen, who he is about to pass, and Reggie Miller, who he passed last season for second-place all-time. Once Curry passes Allen, he will put the record out of reach for a long, long time.

"Obviously know I'm closing in, but try not to let it creep in to how you play," Curry said. "Just enjoy the journey to get there because it does mean a lot to me as I do get closer."

Whenever Curry breaks Allen's record, it will be an emotional moment for him. He has looked up to Allen and Miller his entire life, so breaking the records they once held means a lot to him.

No one has ever made 15, let alone 16, 3-pointers in an NBA game, but at this point, everyone has learned never to doubt Curry.

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Ron Rivera: Yannick Ngakoue hit that injured TE Logan Thomas was 'avoidable'

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera was able to share some unexpected good news about tight end Logan Thomas on Monday. He told the media that an MRI didn't confirm a torn ACL in Thomas' knee, which everyone feared after he left Sunday's game, so his season might not be over after all. 

However, that doesn't change how Rivera feels about the hit that caused the injury. Using the most diplomatic words possible, he said that he felt the hit was "avoidable."

Thomas was injured on a hit from Yannick Ngakoue during WFT's 17-15 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. On an Antonio Gibson run play early in the fourth quarter, Thomas shifted left down the line to block. Ngakoue went low and ended up hitting Thomas on the knee.

Thomas was immediately in pain and called the trainers over. While he was able to walk off under his own power, he didn't return to the game and was ruled out soon after. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Washington feared that Logan had torn his ACL and was done for the year. 

While Rivera said on Monday that the MRI didn't confirm a torn ACL, he also emphasized that they don't know the full extent of Thomas' injury yet. It's still possible he could miss the final five games of the season, but they won't know until he undergoes more tests.

Fans say Ngakoue's hit was 'dirty'

Ngakoue going low generated a lot of social media chatter from fans who, like Rivera, thought the hit was completely avoidable. Some called the play "dirty," while others called for Ngakoue to be suspended, but they were all united by one thing: anger. 

The NFL has not publicly commented about Ngakoue's hit on Thomas.

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Lincoln Riley effect: Five players and one coach announce they're leaving USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Jacob Lichtenstein #97 of the USC Trojans tackles B.J. Baylor.
USC defensive tackle Jacob Lichtenstein wraps up Oregon State running back B.J. Baylor during a game in September. Lichtenstein announced Monday he is entering the transfer portal. (Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

The inevitable exodus has begun at USC.

Edge rushers Hunter Echols and Juliano Falaniko, defensive tackle Jake Lichtenstein and kicker Alex Stadthaus all entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday, while offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie announced he would forgo an extra season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Defensive line coach Vic So’oto also announced on Monday in a social media post that he would not be retained as part of USC’s new staff.

The four departing players are likely just the beginning of major turnover under Lincoln Riley, as the new coach works to rebuild the roster of a team that fell to 4-8 this season, its worst record in 30 years.

An entirely new staff could also be in the works, as Riley had already brought a defensive coordinator (Alex Grinch) and receivers coach (Dennis Simmons) with him from Oklahoma. Tulsa offensive line coach Zach Hanson is likely to join the group as a tight ends coach, while Oklahoma outside linebackers and defensive ends coach Jamar Cain is also expected to join USC’s staff.

So’oto is the first of several assistants expected to part ways with USC in the coming days. In a post on social media, the defensive line coach wrote that he was “extremely excited for the next chapter of my career and the challenges that lie ahead.”

“I am disappointed I will not be able to finish the last year of my contract as a USC Trojan,” So’oto wrote. “The peaks and valleys of this profession are what make it special.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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AB deserves to get cut, but don't count on it

Bruce Arian says he’s pissed off. It makes for a good sound bite in the wake of two players lying to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about their COVID-19 vaccination status. But wideout Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards are still on Arians’ roster today, which is a place neither would be if anyone in power actually wanted them gone.

That has been the simplest of truths in the NFL when it comes to COVID or vaccination or even honesty in general. If someone is important enough in the overall construct of winning games, that person can survive nearly anything, whether it’s missing key games, breaking NFL and union protocols, misleading the general public, spreading misinformation or even lying to the point of making a head coach look foolish. 

The list of players supporting that have done so is deep and has some star power. 

Conversely, you don’t really need to look beyond former cornerback Kemah Siverand — who was cut by the Seattle Seahawks during the 2020 preseason for trying to sneak a woman into the team hotel in a violation of COVID protocols — to see what happens when you're not important enough to survive breaking the rules. The cost was his opportunity in Seattle. 

Brown and Edwards? Both did something far, far worse in misrepresenting their vaccination status to the NFL. The price will ultimately be whatever doesn’t endanger the bigger picture for the Buccaneers. And make no mistake: This gives both the upper hand when it comes to the Buccaneers' needs for the remainder of 2021.

Arians needs Brown and Edwards to accomplish the goal of repeating as Super Bowl champion this season, as do general manager Jason Licht, quarterback Tom Brady and Buccaneers ownership. As good as Tampa Bay is, it can’t afford to lose an impactful defensive back and a star wide receiver who gives the offense an exponential advantage when all the skill position players are healthy. If that wasn’t true, neither Brown or Edwards would be on the roster today. They’d be waived just like Siverand was, with Tampa Bay presenting the move as a statement about truth and consequences.

Instead, the truth here is that the Buccaneers need both players. And the consequence is having to keep them around despite being made to look foolish.

And make no mistake, the Buccaneers have been made to look foolish. Not just because Arians raised the “100 precent vaccinated” flag when that might not have been the case. And not just because Brown and Edwards didn’t respect the organization enough to be honest about their COVID protections. No, the Buccaneers look foolish because the NFL told them to do their own homework on the vaccination cards of their players, and Tampa Bay somehow didn’t connect the dots that led to Brown and Edwards coming clean about what they’d done.

Tom Brady (right) and the Bucs know a healthy Antonio Brown significantly increases their chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions. So a transgression that would lose a lesser player his roster spot merely costs Brown three games. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady (right) and the Bucs know a healthy Antonio Brown significantly increases their chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions. So a transgression that would lose a lesser player his roster spot merely costs Brown three games. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

When the NFL took the time to actually pay attention to it, this wasn’t exactly the caper of the century. Not if two details reported by the Wall Street Journal are true: that Brown, Edwards and former wideout John Franklin III all passed on getting their vaccine from the team and instead went to the same drive-thru facility in Citrus County, Florida — a 90-minute drive from Tampa — at the same time but didn’t drive together, and that none of the three players had ties to Citrus County. 

If it took little time for NFL investigators to realize that seemed fishy, there’s valid reason to wonder how closely the Buccaneers were looking at the locations of vaccinations outside of the team facility.

That the simple questions weren’t asked — and with additional reports now suggesting other NFL teams have caught players pulling vaccination card scams — leans into the most logical conclusion: league franchises wanted to meet their vaccination thresholds, and if players presented cards that appeared to be real, they weren’t going to complicate things by asking too many questions. Because the hole a team was digging here may have been beneath its own feet, especially in the cases of important players who were going to have a hand in accomplishing the loftiest of goals.

Brown and Edwards fit into that category. Sunday’s 30-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons notwithstanding, there’s no denying that Brady is at a greater advantage when Brown is healthy and on the field. There’s a reason Brady has been one of his biggest advocates. And there’s also a reason teams have their hands full when Brown walks onto the field alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Defenses have only so many defensive backs capable of matching up with that trio. A full deck of that threesome and a healthy Rob Gronkowski in the postseason would create mismatches on every given passing play. And if the pass protection holds up in a scenario like that, Tampa Bay’s opponents are going to have to score a lot of points to win games.

As for Edwards, Tampa Bay's defense is struggling to get back into the late-season pass-rushing groove of 2020. It also has gone through a wood-chipper of injuries in the secondary. The Buccaneers need as many healthy defensive backs as possible, and Edwards was a big part of last season’s Super Bowl run, including an interception of Drew Brees in the divisional playoff win and playing 100 percent of the defensive snaps in the NFC title game win over the Green Bay Packers.

Players like that tend to earn leniency. It's why we’ve seen Arians move off of seemingly past definitive statements. The guy who once suggested Brown wouldn’t have a place in Tampa Bay’s locker room eventually made an exception. So it's fair to assume the guy who told Peter King last year that if Brown “screws up one time, he’s gone” now must adjust for what Brown did for him on the field since he made that statement. And most especially what Brown did against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, when he caught a touchdown pass and spent the night occupying a significant amount of attention from the defense.

Brown knows this. Just like Edwards knows he also has an important role, too. Both will serve a three-week suspension for something that would have lost lower-rung players their roster spot. If that wasn’t the truth, there wouldn’t be any need to consider dragging out this embarrassment any longer than last week’s revelation.

But Tampa Bay will, because it’s in the best interest of winning another Super Bowl. And when all is said and done, that’s the shot in the arm that every NFL team will make sacrifices for. Even if it means looking like a fool.

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Here is the latest ACC sports news from The Associated Press | National news from the ... - WREX

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IRVING, Texas (AP) — The College Football Playoff is set and it is historic: Cincinnati will play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and Michigan will ...

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How to watch Vanderbilt vs. Temple men's basketball on live stream - The Tennessean

What channel is Celtic vs Real Betis? Live stream, TV and kick off details - Daily Record

It might be a dead rubber in the eyes of some but Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou insists it's another chance to improve.

Manuel Pellegrini has already sounded the alarm for Betis - another Europa League group stage win means more money in the coffers of the La Liga side.

These two thrilled in Seville back in September with a 4-3 win for Betis not telling the full story of how good the Parkhead side were.

Jota had a great chance to make it 3-0 but ultimately was denied before the hosts came on strong and were able to overwhelm the Parkhead side.

But Celtic have grown since then and a win over of Betis will be a real confidence surge for side who have real designs of making waves in the Europa Conference League knockouts.

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Here is all you beed to know about the big game,

When is the game?

The game takes place at Celtic Park on Thursday, December 9. Kick-off is at 8pm.

It's a return to tradition for Celtic with their last home game a rather unconventional 3.30pm start time on a Tuesday against Ferencvaros.

Is there a live stream available?

Yes, subscribers can stream the game via the BT Sport app or website.

How else can I follow the action?

You can follow it right here on dailyrecord.co.uk of course! We'll be running a live blog throughout the evening, bringing you all the key moments as well as post-match reaction and analysis.

A match report and much, much more will also be available on our website following the final whistle.

Is the game on TV?

Yes. The game is live on BT Sport 1 with coverage beginning after the Rangers game.

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Discovery May Snag BT Sport from DAZN

With talks between DAZN and BT Sport reportedly at an impasse, Discovery may swoop in.

British telecommunications firm BT, which is looking to sell its sports broadcasting segment, had seemed to find a match in sports streamer DAZN, which wants in on the UK market, particularly the Premier League.

The two sides are reportedly in talks on a $795.2 million sale of BT Sport to DAZN.

However, BT Sport is currently offered as an add-on to BT’s broadband service, an arrangement which BT would like to maintain. DAZN wants revenue assurances baked into any pact with BT.

The conflict has created an opening for U.S.-based Discovery, which has proposed a joint venture with BT. Discovery had over 20 million streaming subscribers as of Sept. 30.

  • Discovery owns the Eurosport channels and holds rights to the Olympics across Europe.
  • In May, the Premier League rolled over its existing media deals with BT, Sky, Amazon, and BBC, locking in those broadcasters from 2022 to 2025 with deals collectively worth around $7 billion.
  • BT Sport’s consumer base has fallen by more than half from 3.5 million subscribers in 2016 to 1.6 million, according to an April report.

BT reportedly hopes to make a decision on the two offers by the end of the year.

Discovery’s $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia is expected to close mid-2022. On Monday, over 30 Democratic members of Congress wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing antitrust concerns over the deal.

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FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS | Devin Haney vs. JoJo Diaz - YouTube

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Discovery-BT Sport could derail DAZN sale - Broadband TV News

BT’s protracted £600 million sale of its sports channels to streaming service DAZN could be off after it emerged the telco was in separate talks with Discovery.

The US broadcaster, which already operates the Eurosport channels, has offered to create a joint venture with the telco.

BT Sport has rights to Premier League, Champions League and Ashes cricket, while Discovery holds a long-term agreement to show the Olympic Games in Europe.

The Telegraph, which first reported the story, says BT has become interested in Discovery’s approach after talks with Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s DAZN began to flounder over commercial deals. From the outset, BT has bundled BT Sport with its broadband service, which led DAZN to seek assurances on revenues.

It’s understood that a decision on whether to make an outright sale of BT Sport or to partner with Discovery will be made by the end of the year.

In the UK, DAZN is largely known for its boxing coverage, and the acquisition of BT Sport would bring considerable opportunity, and sports rights, to the unprofitable broadcaster.

BT, while becoming a thorn in the side of Sky in rights acquisition, now makes its channels available on the rival platform. However, the telco’s emphasis is clearly on broadband rather than its TV business.

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New era in Miami comes with awkward ambition

ATLANTA — On Saturday night, as the city of Atlanta sat transfixed by Alabama’s throttling of Georgia in the SEC title game, a titan of a previous generation of college football plotted a long game of catch-up to that caliber of stage.

A few miles from the Mercedes Benz Dome, University of Miami officials met with Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich about becoming the school’s next AD. While plotting that move, they’d already begun feverishly and clumsily putting together an offer to lure home Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, an effort that ultimately proved successful as Cristobal officially took the job Monday afternoon. 

The Miami of camouflage fatigues, relentless swagger and an assembly line of first-round NFL draft picks is now the stuff of lore, fodder for the "30-for-30s" and the grumpiest base of former stars in the sport. Aside from the Turnover Chain blip in 2017, Miami failed to build on the five national titles won in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Eventually a series of poor coaching hires and an apathetic athletic department watched the SEC race ahead. Miami suddenly found itself leading the nation only in entitled alumni complaining to the media.

And that’s where Miami’s new money, bold leaders and even more new money have come in — chief-of-staff Rudy Fernandez, UHealth CEO Joe Echevarria and board chair Laurie Silvers among them. The UHealth tie has created hundreds of millions more in revenue for the university, some of which is expected to spill over to boost athletics. Miami never had money, it always had talent. And the new guard wants the investment in athletics to help build the university’s brand, just like back in the day when Miami football helped the school become a national brand.

There’s a new guard at Miami taking a bold, emotionless and occasionally cringe-worthy approach to reviving “The U.”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 06: Mario Cristobal of the Oregon Ducks looks on before the game against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Mario Cristobal is Miami's top target to lead the Hurricanes in the 2022 season. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Let’s be blunt: The ideas are strong. The execution was shaky, especially Sunday. Cristobal is a Miami native, prolific recruiter of South Florida and has the type of institutional ties to that area that could revive the program’s aura. He has won a Rose Bowl and lost a Fiesta Bowl at Oregon, where he went 35-13. He also could keep programs like Alabama and Georgia from raiding South Florida, where recruits no longer see the school as a premier destination.

“Why wouldn’t he go and crush it?” a veteran coach said of Cristobal on Sunday night. “It isn’t just location, because he’s proven he can do it anywhere in the country. Put him in his sweet spot, and it’s that much more dangerous. He’ll be doing it at a place that has more talent running around in his backyard than any other place in America.”

Radakovich is one of the country’s best athletic directors, and he could provide a compelling coda to a decorated career by awakening a modern version of the Miami he knew while there from 1983-85.

The execution was what you’d expect from a bunch of rich, well-meaning people who don’t know much about college athletics. It was bold and cold, ambitious and amateurish, brazen and sloppy. Perhaps that’s the cost of doing business at a place that hasn’t really ever done the business of college athletics well, winning more because of the surrounding talent than the campus accommodations.

What Miami did to head coach Manny Diaz on Sunday is the type of egregious mismanagement that happens when grand ambitions turn blind. To leave your football coach dangling for an entire day while you wait to potentially fire him — or maybe not — is a terrible look. A lot of people around college athletics were laughing at Miami on Sunday while feeling awful for Diaz, who twisted in the wind in a cruel fashion. He ultimately was fired Monday morning during a meeting with Miami's president. 

Before that meeting, Diaz didn’t hear from any Miami officials all day regarding his job, according to sources. He got a commitment from a player in Dade County, linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, on Saturday. On Sunday, he got marched out to the plank for the world to see.

Diaz’s buyout has been reported in the $8 million range. No one is going to shed many tears for him, but the whole thing was generally uncomfortable.

On a pure, cold-blooded business level, Miami’s brashness and callousness also showed that the new regime at Miami doesn’t care about feelings. Judge that how you may. Miami has come to a sudden realization about how far behind its program is and the new leaders aren’t going to care about bad optics and hurt feelings.

Miami head coach Manny Diaz encourages his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Duke, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
Miami head coach Manny Diaz encourages his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Duke, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

The reasoning for Radakovich likely going to Miami is simple. He’s been there when Miami has been elite, and his experience at Clemson makes him perfectly suited to help galvanize and build Miami back to relevance. Miami is never going to be what it was under Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson, but Radakovich is uniquely suited to maximize what it can be in the new world of college football.

Radakovich came away from the Saturday meeting impressed with Miami's leaders. There appear to be a few final formalities before he takes the job later this week. At 63, he’ll likely end where he began.

Can Miami reclaim relevance? Diaz’s potential parting gift is quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, a young star who threw 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions as a freshman. He’s an elite building block for whoever is next, assuming he doesn’t enter the transfer portal to see how the bidding war unfolds.

This Sunday will be remembered as Miami being bold again. The brashness has returned, and now we’ll see about the results with Cristobal.

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Max Verstappen handed penalty for Lewis Hamilton crash at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has been found at fault for the collision with Lewis Hamilton on Lap 37 of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and handed a penalty - but not one which affects the standings in the championship race.

The duo collided after Red Bull driver Verstappen was ordered to cede position to Hamilton, braking in the centre of the lane and causing his Mercedes rival to run into the back of his car, with some damage resulting to Hamilton’s front wing.

A stewards’ investigation suggested both drivers could have evaded the incident but found Verstappen “predominantly at fault” and suggested “erratic” braking undertaken “suddenly and significantly” caused the eventual impact.

The result is a 10-second time penalty for the Dutch racer, but with Valtteri Bottas finishing 16 seconds behind him in third, it means he stays second in the final race standings. Verstappen was also handed two penalty points on his licence.

Hamilton winning the race put him level on points in the driver standings with Verstappen, ahead of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

After the collision he was heard on the radio calling Verstappen “f****** crazy” and labelled it “dangerous driving” from his adversary, while also suggesting the Red Bull man employed on-track actions which were a step too far.

“He’s over the limit, for sure. I’ve avoided collision on so many occasions with the guy. I don’t mind being the one that always does that because you live to fight another day,” Hamilton said after the race.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner acknowledged the team were “lucky to come away with second” after damage to Verstappen’s car, but put the blame for the collision on Hamilton instead.

“I don’t know what Lewis was doing because Max was trying to give the place up as instructed by Race Control, he lifted and you can hear that, it was clear we were trying to give the place up and we’d informed Race Control,” he said.

“I don’t know if Lewis didn’t want to pass before the DRS zone, but it was very strange to have him drive straight up the back of Max. We got a five-second time penalty, I thought it was on the harsh side, they both went wide and were racing. Max has fought like a gladiator this weekend and given it everything.”

The chaotic and incident-filled 2021 title will be decided next weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Read More

F1 news LIVE: Max Verstappen penalised as Lewis Hamilton accuses rival

Max Verstappen prepared for ‘straight-out fight’ for F1 title says Christian Horner

The sporting weekend in pictures

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