This past October, a buddy of mine and I landed some club-level tickets from a mutual friend and season-ticket holder for a fantastic Homecoming win over West Virginia. It was a blast.But the 11 a.m. kickoff time left us baking in the sun of an unseasonably warm October morning from our borrowed north-side seats. And it was a bit cramped. Elbow-to-elbow, we did our best to avoid offending the regulars. Had it been more of a “sit-down game”, things could have been worse.You’ve heard the expression “standing room only.” Well, if you’ve ever been to a Cowboy football game you’ve experienced the meaning of the phrase in the form of the average 12-16 inches of designated seat width. Let’s do an exercise. Put a ruler down on your chair. Sit on it. Yeah. Most of us won’t have much real estate to work with.But there’s good news.Oklahoma State has finally decided to act on their longtime intentions to make some changes to what the university’s website calls “the coziest 60,000-seat stadium in America”.According to Andy Sumrall, OSU’s assistant athletic director of ticket operations, OSU plans to give fans a little more elbow room. Here he is from an article by Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World.“Some of the biggest issues we have come from someone sitting on my seat or half of my seat,” said Sumrall. “Seats are just too close together.”The change will take place over the offseason and is scheduled to be complete before the Cowboys’ home opener against Tulsa on September 2. It entails extending that varying, narrow seat width to a uniform 20 inches in most of the 200 and 300 level seats on the south side of the stadium and some on the north side per the Tulsa World.The biggest difference other than increased personal space and comfort will be a decreased maximum capacity from 60,218, down to 56,790. But there has only been one true sellout — that frigid rout against Baylor in 2013.Next year’s capacity was exceeded once last season — that homecoming game. But prior to 2016, that number was beaten 15 times in the previous four seasons. Below are are the home ticket sales for the last five seasons.There will be a few of us left to tailgate or watch from home but overall, it sounds like these changes are for the better.2016 12/7/2013OklahomaL 24-3358,520 10/27/2012TCUW 36-1457,183 09/03/2016Southeastern LouisianaW 61-750,079 2013 09/13/2014UTSAW 43-1354,577 10/19/2013TCU (HC)W 24-1059,638 10/05/2013Kansas StateW 33-2958,841 2012 10/01/2016TexasW 49-3153,468 11/23/2013BaylorW 49-1760,218 10/24/2015Kansas (HC)W 58-1059,486 09/19/2015UTSAW 69-1454,351 09/14/2013LamarW 59-359,061 09/25/2014Texas TechW 45-3555,958 09/01/2012Savannah StateW 84-055,784 11/21/2015BaylorL 35-4558,669 DateOpponentResultAttendance 11/17/2012Texas TechW 59-2155,341 11/28/2015OklahomaL 23-5858,231 11/07/2015TCUW 49-2959,061 10/04/2014Iowa StateW 37-2052,608 DateOpponentResultAttendance DateOpponentResultAttendance 10/25/2014West Virginia (HC)L 10-3459,124 DateOpponentResultAttendance 09/29/2012TexasL 36-4156,709 09/10/2016Central MichiganL 27-30*52,523 10/20/2012Iowa State (HC)W 31-1057,019 11/15/2014TexasL 7-2852,495 2014 10/03/2015Kansas StateW 36-3457,618 10/29/2016West Virginia (HC)W 37-2059,584 09/17/2016PittsburghW 43-3853,514 DateOpponentResultAttendance 2015 11/09/2013KansasW 42-658,476 11/12/0216Texas TechW 45-4454,288 09/15/2012Louisiana-LafayetteW 65-2456,062 09/12/2015Central ArkansasW 32-856,262 10/08/2016Iowa StateW 38-3153,239 11/10/2012West VirginiaW 55-3457,799 09/06/2014Southwest Missouri StateW 40-2351,562 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Let’s keep this 100 days of summer rolling on with No. 93, junior defensive end Jarrell Owens.How he got to OSUA three-star prospect out of Palestine High School (Palestine, Texas), Owens was originally committed to to play closer to home at TCU. Six months after his commitment to the Horned Frogs, second-year DL coach Joe Bob Clements, convinced Owens to make a trip to Stillwater. Two days later, he had decommitted from TCU and was ready to sign with the Cowboys.What he’s done in StillwaterAfter a redshirt year in 2014, Owens began contributing immediately as a redshirt freshman, earning meaningful reps in a rotation headlined by Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean. He was both productive and disruptive. That year he finished with 11 tackles (8 solo), three tackles for loss, three sacks, three QB hurries, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.In 2016, Owens earned a starting spot opposite Cole Walterscheid and started 12 games. He tallied 25 total tackles (17 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three QB hurries. He also showed his athleticism during one of Oklahoma State’s Piesman-nominated plays.Wild play alert courtesy of @CowboyFB defense.#Big12FB on FS1 https://t.co/9wNohKypWe— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 22, 2016During the off season, Owens hones his tackling skills in a way that may seem unusual to some. He hunts feral hogs — and catches them with his bare hands.Role in 2017Owens looks ready to defend his starting spot and should definitely be featured in the Cowboys’ two-deep end rotation which Mike Gundy expects to operate hockey-like line rotations. Between he, Jordan Brailford, Cole Walterscheid and Vili Leveni the Cowboys boast as talented and deep a group of rotation ends as Mike Gundy has had. Any one of them could have a huge game at any time and each one will need to have multiples for the Cowboys to reach their potential.Noteworthy Stats and highlightsHad a career-high two tackles for loss, including a sack against Southeastern Louisiana last season. In the Alamo Bowl, he was disruptive, recording four tackles, a tackle for loss and two QB hurries.
It’s one of the most endearing sentiments in sports. David and Goliath. Any given Saturday, the weak can prevail. The unassuming can ruin things for the destined.So it should come as little surprise that there’s been a slight buzz around Oklahoma State’s trip to Alabama this September. Not that Alabama school. Not that one either. South Alabama. The team that beat Mississippi State last year. The same program that played Tennessee close a handful of years ago.Could the Jaguars follow in the footsteps of their conference and in-state rival Troy? Let’s take a look.ParticularsWhen: September 8, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. CDT (Friday night)Where: Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama. Capacity: 40,600Last Meeting: N/AThis is the first meeting between Oklahoma State and South Alabama which added football in 2008. It’s only been an FBS program since 2012.We will get a good look at the Jaguars during opening week when they head to Oxford to face an Ole Miss program whose off-the-field turmoil shouldn’t stop them from hammering the Jags.OffenseIn 2016, sophomore Dallas Davis took over as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback but battled with injury down the stretch. He still finished second in the Sun Belt Conference with 246 passing yards per game.Davis sat out the spring due to shoulder surgery and his best shot appears to be an “open competition” if he’s on schedule to vie for reps in fall camp. He’ll compete with fellow junior Cole Garvin and former UAB quarterback and teammate of Victor Salako’s, Evan Orth.Regardless of who takes snaps for the Jaguars, they will be replacing virtually all of their targets in the passing game. The top four receivers in 2016 were seniors Josh Magee, Kevin Kutchera, Tyrone Williams and tight end Gerald Everett. Those four represented 2,404 of the Jaguars’ receiving yards in 2016. In fact, 81 percent (2,579) of South Alabama’s 3,169 passing yards were collected by seniors last year as well as 13 of their 15 receiving touchdowns.The Jaguars do return leading rusher, Xavier Johnson who had 831 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago. Johnson has led the team in rushing the last two years and boasts career totals of 2,225 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry.DefenseSouth Alabama did finish second in their conference in passing defense, allowing just 174.6 yards per game and a 1.4:1 TD-to-interception ratio.But let’s not kid ourselves. The Sun Belt is not the Big 12 and the most prolific passing attack they faced was Troy. The chasm in skill players between Oklahoma State and the Troy Trojans is more embarrassment than mismatch. Oh yeah and the Cowboys have a legit Heisman contender in record-setter Mason Rudolph taking snaps.The Jaguars were best if given a long field to try and slow teams down, posting the 29th-best opponent points per long drive (1.17). They allowed an overall opponent points per drive of 2.40 which ranked 77th in 2016. Not great!Key MatchupJeremy Reaves is the veteran leader of the Jaguars’ secondary and returns after a junior season with seven pass breakups, three interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He and fellow senior DB Neiko Robinson (three pass breakups and an interception) will have their hands full with what should be the most prolific offense the program has faced in its eight-year history.ConclusionThe simple question is whether the Cowboys take it to the Jaguars or play down to their competition like we’ve seen in the past. The Jaguars beat a bad Mississippi State team last year. Does that put fear into Mike Gundy? Unlikely. But there’s no reason to go mess around with a lesser team on the road.Summer PredictionThis is another game that the Cowboys should control throughout. I’m predicting OSU makes it to 2-0 after a 52-21 win in Mobile. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. We’re closing in on two months before college football starts. You know what that means. We all still have time to grow out our mullets before the season opener.And with Mason Rudolph and all of his weapons returning, we’re chock full of grandiose expectations and as excited for fall as ever.But if you want to add a little more hype to your weekend (who wouldn’t?) take a gander at this clip. It’s sure to whet your appetite for college football.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. On the first rush of his college career, freshman J.D. King went for two yards. On his second, he went 71 yards to the house for the first touchdown of his career. It was a beauty, too, as he was untouched throughout.It was also Oklahoma State’s longest rushing play since 2011.Oklahoma State has now scored on four of its first five possessions and is averaging 12.3 yards per play. They lead 28-14 in the middle of the second quarter.WATCH: Hail to the King! J.D. King goes 71 yards to put #OKState up 28-7! pic.twitter.com/ME0UqldbbH— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 1, 2017AdChoices广告
I think we’ve made every possible prediction for the upcoming season … except for how everything is going to play out on a national stage. So here are our PFB predictions for all of college football in 2017.Big 10 WinnerKyle Porter: Ohio State — Urban is too much for Faux Gundy up in Ann Arbor. Buckeyes are loaded up again and have the least volatile formula for making the CFP.Nick Welch: Ohio State — Michigan’s difficult Big Ten road schedule (@Penn St @Wisconsin) will lead to an Ohio St division crown and eventual championship. See bold prediction on Wisconsin.AdChoices广告Kyle Boone: Ohio State — Even with a roster overhaul, the Bucks have too many dudes in too many spots to not be successful. Most importantly: J.T. Barrett (the official Perry Ellis of college football) is still slinging the pigskin for Urban’s lethal offensive attack now spearheaded by Kevin Wilson.Hayden Barber: Ohio State — Man, I want to pick Penn State so bad but can’t. The Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes last year, but that was a home game. On the road will be too much, and unfortunately, that will push them out of the conference championship game.Steven Mandeville: Penn State — A nasty trio of McSorley, Barkley and the nation’s best tight end will wear out the Buckeyes in Columbus.Phillip Slavin: Michigan — It’s year three for Harbaugh in Michigan which means many of the players seeing the field are now the ones he recruited. It took three years for things to “pop” at Stanford. I think we see the same thing at Michigan in year three.Kyle Cox: Wisconsin — Paul Chryst plays the type of football that Mike Gundy daydreams about. He’s got an NFL offensive line and one of the best rushing attacks in college football. He has a returning quarterback and solid defense. The Badgers lost some close ones a year ago and could take the next step in 2017.Pac-12 WinnerKyle Porter: Stanford — Come at me.Nick Welch: Washington — They have an ultra cerebral pocket passer in Jake Browning, a proven winner as a coach (Chris Petersen), and ultra favorable schedule that excludes USC till the finals.Kyle Boone: USC — The Trojans were seriously getting CFP love last season as a three-loss team, so how much respect will they get when Ronald Jones and Sam Darnold lead them to a one-loss conference record and a Pac-12 title? Don’t answer that.Hayden Barber: Washington — U-Dub brings back almost everyone who got it to the playoff last year. I can’t buy USC or Stanford, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it ended up that way. This is probably the most competitive conference in America.Steven Mandeville: Washington — No tough non-conference games, No USC from the south and the guts of offensive skill and line return from a CFP contender. USC finished the season well last year but nothing about an inexperienced coach in Clay Helton makes me think they can take out Chris Peterson.Phillip Slavin: USC — There are two reasons I’m making this pick. 1. I think the rest of the Pac-12 South takes a step back while the Trojans are better this year than last. 2. USC beat Washington last season, when Washington was a better team. Washington will win the North, but USC wins the league.Kyle Cox: USC — I can see the case for either Washington or USC. I hate to follow the helmet sticker rule but I think SoCal just has more dudes. Darnold and the back who should have kept Justice Hill in a redshirt are gonna take the West Coast by storm.Big 12 WinnerKyle Porter: Oklahoma State — I am drunk on Kool-Aid. I am blinded by orange (and black and chrome and Big, Crazy Pete). I am waving bushels of wheat from my shed. I am all in.Nick Welch: Oklahoma State — The stars have aligned for the Cowboys to do something legendary this season. The question is, can they grasp destiny by the reins and ride into college football glory?Kyle Boone: Oklahoma State — Mason Rudolph, Justice Hill, James Washington … I think in five years we’ll look back at this team and think, “Wow, that team had so many pros on it.” Give me the Cowboys. They’ve got the horses to get it done this season.Hayden Barber: Oklahoma State — I have never been around a more confident, cohesive group of athletes in my young life. The way they talk to you is as if they have already played and won all the games and are trying to tell you about them as if they know nothing.Steven Mandeville: Kansas State — With a returning quarterback, Snyder is a wizard and he gets a super favorable schedule – and a great chance for a “send Bill out on top” season. OU goes to K-State and they come to Stillwater – projecting some sort of a fangled three way tie, resulting in an orange and purple title game.Phillip Slavin: Oklahoma — It’s REALLY hard to beat a team twice in the same season. I think OSU wins the regular season match-up in Stillwater, then loses in the conference title game.Kyle Cox: Oklahoma State — This has been my prediction throughout this process. I think they drop a couple conference games and go to Arlington at No. 2, but upend Kansas State for the trophy.ACC WinnerKyle Porter: Noles — Deondre Francois is a stud, and they have more dudes than a ranch in northwest Oklahoma.Nick Welch: Florida State — Early season road trips to Virginia Tech and Louisville could prove challenging for Clemson and their new QB. I think FSU has the weapons to wreck some defenses this season.Kyle Boone: Florida State — I almost went Clemson just because I didn’t want to google Deondre Francois, but look at me, efforting in the early part of the week. I think the Seminoles might run away with the ACC, too. Replacing Deshaun Watson at Clemson is a task not even Dabo Swinney can overcome.Hayden Barber: Florida State — Exactly like I think OSU will be this year, the Seminoles might win their conference with two losses. They open with Alabama and play Clemson on the road. That’s rough, but they get a third chance with a conference championship game.Steven Mandeville: Clemson — Clemson gets the Noles at home and will relatively coast after taking on Auburn and Louisville by late September.Phillip Slavin: Miami — As good as Florida State is going to be, I think the Atlantic division is loaded with talented teams and will cannibalize itself. That leaves the door open for whoever wins the Coastal to surprise everyone and win the conference. I’m picking Miami to do that.Kyle Cox : Florida State — Dabo’s got too much to replace with his QB and RB owned in 100 percent of fantasy leagues. Deondre Francois took his lumps at times as a true freshman but we’ve seen how that can help a quarterback with his coach’s confidence in the second year.SEC WinnerKyle Porter: Alabama — (I previously had Auburn here until I realized it would be difficult for Auburn to win the SEC and Bama to make the playoff as the No. 1 seed).Nick Welch: Alabama — Until someone unseats Alabama, it is impossible to pick against them. They have a tremendous defense as usual, AND a mobile bowling ball of a quarterback. They get LSU at home this year.Kyle Boone: Alabama — Do I need to write anything here?Hayden Barber: Alabama — No. ^Steven Mandeivlle: ‘Bama — LSU comes to Tuscaloosa this year and nobody will be half as good as the FSU team they’ll beat on opening weekend.Phillip Slavin: Alabama — duh.Kyle Cox: ‘Bama — I wanted to say something catchy about Jarrett Stidham walking across the Texas-Louisiana border and instantly being the best QB in the SEC but I’ve got to pick the snarling Nick Sabans here.College Football Playoff (four teams)Kyle Porter: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Florida State — OSU on OSU crime in the Rose Bowl and Bama-FSU rematch in the Sugar Bowl. My veins, insert all of it.Nick Welch: #1 Alabama, #2 Florida St, #3 Ohio St, #4 Oklahoma St — Despite the opening day loss, FSU or Alabama will run the table the rest of the way and make it into the Playoffs. I think Oklahoma State squeezes in somehow. It’s a very close to call.Kyle Boone: #1 Bama, #2 Florida State, #3 Oklahoma State, #4 USC. — Oh yes, Jimbo Fisher v. Mike Gundy for a chance at a national title. Who says no to this?!Hayden Barber: No. 1 Bama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Florida State — I think FSU and the Cowboys will have the same record and it comes down to Big 12 vs. ACC. Which would you pick? Nay, which do you think the committee will pick?Steven Mandeville: No. 1 Bama, No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Washington — B12 again left out and the committees two favorite leagues are locked in that top spot. Poor Huskies get trounced again and Saban pounds Dabo in the rubber game.Phillip Slavin: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Oklahoma: Again, the ACC has so many good teams this year it knocks itself out of the playoff allowing Big 12 champ OU to get in and promptly get stomped in the semi-finals.Kyle Cox: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Florida State No. 4 Wisconsin — A two-loss Oklahoma State doesn’t get in.National Championship (two teams)Kyle Porter: Ohio State over Alabama — Roll Urban.Nick Welch: #1 Alabama, #3 Ohio St — The two titans in College Football meet in the title game. Alabama gashes Oklahoma St for 250+ yards on the ground and controls the playclock. Ohio St sneaks past FSU to reach the title. I’ll say Alabama wins it this year, I do hate saying that though.Kyle Boone: #1 Bama, #2 Florida State — This is the storybook ending that would perfectly book end the season for college football fans, who will have their TVs tuned in next Saturday when Bama and FSU kick off the season. A rematch is exactly what the committee is probably already maneuvering towards, because $$$.Hayden Barber: No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Florida State — Beating the same team twice is extremely tough, especially at the top, so I think the Seminoles use their chaser as an elixir to get them to the National Championship.Steven Mandeville: No. 1 Bama vs. No. 3 Clemson — The rubber game without Deshaun Watson won’t be near as fun. Saban is taking Jalen Hurts off his leash and the downfield passing game will flourish.Phillip Slavin: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 USC — This is absolutely not the National Championship I want to watch, which means it’s exactly the one I’m going to get.Kyle Cox: No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Florida State — In a rematch of the season opener, the Seminoles take revenge with their offensive firepower and Jimbo hoists that weird-looking trophy. People stupidly start questioning Nick Saban in big games.Bold prediction for CFB this yearKyle Porter: OU loses three or more games. Bob Stoops, underrated.Nick Welch: Wisconsin enters the Big Ten Title Game undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the CFB polls. Their schedule is incredible navigable and they fall just short of the Big Ten Title and playoffs after losing to Ohio St. Also, USC loses to someone they shouldn’t. I can’t pinpoint whom but it could be to Texas or someone like Washington St.Hayden Barber: Four teams from both the Pac-12 and Big 10 will finish with more than nine wins. Washington (11-1), Stanford (10-2), USC (10-2) and UCLA (9-3) will represent a highly competitive but not quite elite Pac-12. And Ohio State (12-0), Penn State (11-1), Wisconsin (10-2) and Michigan (9-3) post the best conference lineup in college football history. Flames.Steven Mandeville: My Penn State pick is pretty bold – when Ohio State murders OU *grinning ear to ear* and then loses to Penn State 10-7 at the Horseshoe, the Nittany Lions will be all the CFP committee will talk about from week-to-week. Penn State = the new Iowa.Phillip Slavin: Is Miami winning the loaded ACC not bold enough? Ok, then how about this: Colorado State is the group-of-5 representative in the New Years Six Bowls, and Oklahoma State faces them. I’m hopping on the hype train after they soundly beat Oregon State last weekend. CSU will lose once, to Alabama.Kyle Cox: Other than Wisconsin winning the Big Ten?Heisman WinnerKyle Porter: J.T. Barrett — I picked him last year. I’ll pick him again. Not having big names at RB or WR will help his resume. By the way, Sam Darnold has “I know he just went 7-5 but really, he’s good!” written all over him.Nick Welch: I think J.T. Barrett has a great chance to win it this year.Kyle Boone: U already knoHayden Barber: Someone none of us have ever heard of.Steven Mandeville: Deondre Francois of FSU – when the Noles *upset* Bama, the media will crown the sophomore, dubbing him the next Jameis that Manziel’d Bama.Phillip Slavin: Either some freshman quarterback no one is talking about or whoever ends up with the most rushing yards at Alabama.Kyle Cox: Baker Mayfield. Even though Oklahoma doesn’t win the Big 12 and doesn’t make the playoff, Mayfield will put up numbers and have a good year. The narrative will be that with a new head coach and his three NFL weapons gone, Mayfield shouldered more of a burden and carried his team. It’s finally his year. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
OSU is 1-0 to start their season after a 59-24 win over in-state foe Tulsa.After a LOT of people (Looking at you Herbie!) said Tulsa might give OSU a scare, and called this a “trap” game, the Cowboys easily dominated the Golden Hurricane. Don’t talk to me about the halftime score, this game was over after the first quarter.With that said, let’s throw out some grades for OSU’s season opener.Offense: A+Good God. This is what I’ve been waiting for, for two seasons. An OSU team that came out of the gate in game one looking like world beaters. Everyone from Rudolph, to the receivers, to the offensive line, to the running backs, looked like world beaters.AdChoices广告Don’t tell me it was Tulsa. For all the people saying it would be a game, I don’t want to hear “oh it’s just Tulsa, no big deal” now. No, Tulsa’s defense never had the talent or experience to really slow OSU’s offense down. But it’s one thing to rave about what OSU has on paper and another to see it in action.I had a whole post planned around why this team was nothing like that 2011 team based on last year compared to 2010, but the offensive performance we saw on Thursday made me chuck it.Seriously, two of Oklahoma State’s first half touchdowns took two plays. TWO PLAYS. They scored another with just one play.It’s early and OSU is going to face significantly better defenses. But as far as test number one goes, they passed it with flying colors.Defense: BThe biggest question heading into the season was the defense. Could they slow down anyone enough to allow the Rudolph and Co. to outscore everyone? They did their job.The defense was fast. That secondary especially was all over the field. They only allowed 10 points in the first half, and three of those were directly after a turnover.There were moments when the corners showed their youth, and they got away with it because Tulsa’s wide receivers aren’t great. But they passed test one. There’s room for growth but AJ Green looked good. Ramon Richards showed why he was moved to safety. The linebackers looked good. Kenneth Edison-McGruder was great.The defensive line was okay. They didn’t do a great job of putting pressure on either of Tulsa’s quarterbacks. But they were matched up against an experienced offensive line that might be one of the five best they see this year.Uniforms: A-I really like the helmet. The orange face mask looks great on a white helmet, and the fullbodied Pistol Pete feels like a bit of a throwback, even though he’s never appeared on a helmet like that (according to uniform guru CJ Knox). Also, that stripe pattern is the best thing about this whole combination.I always like the White-Orange-White look. It’s clean.I do have one complaint. It’s weird to me to have classic pete on the helmet, while you have phantom pete on the leg. I love both on their own, but they don’t coexist well. It’s a small thing, but once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it.Opponent: CDid anyone really expect Tulsa to score less than 20 points, because that’s what happened.Tulsa looked better after they realized that Chad President (awesome name) was the better option for them at quarterback, but they were never in that game.In truth, they were what I thought they were. A well coached team that was replacing a lot of important pieces. Once they figured out who their quarterback was, which most people seemed to figure out a while go (shout out to Kelly Hines) their offense looked better. Chad President should be their best option moving forward, and that team will get better, but personnel turnover has definitely taken its toll.Fans: AIt was a paid sell-out crowd. Whether everyone showed up or not, it was a sell-out. For a Thursday night game against Tulsa. Bravo Fans.Mason Rudolph: A-He started the game 9/10 and the only miss was a pass Chris Lacy couldn’t hold on to.He finished 20/24 for 303 yards and three passing touchdowns, and he ran another TD in.Rudolph was stellar. He threw some absolutely beautiful passes and put a real zip on the ball. Yes, he had that REALLY bad decision at the end of the first half where he lost the ball, and there were a couple of bad throws, but nobody is perfect.I mean, he nearly was last night.JD King: AThe true freshman was named the back up to Justice Hill, and despite all the great things the coaches said before the season, he was still a guy that had never played a down.He didn’t disappoint.On his second carry, he broke a 71-yard touchdown. King looks like a perfect compliment to Hill, and exactly what we’d been hearing about for the past few weeks.His is going to be a fun career to follow for the next (hopefully) four years. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Transfers Torres and Carrasco talk leaves Simeone ‘uncomfortable’ during Chinese Super League transfer window Ryan Benson 22:17 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Transfers Atlético Madrid Sevilla v Atlético Madrid Sevilla Dalian Yifang Primera División CSL Atletico Madrid could yet lose two players to the CSL before February 28 transfer deadline, making the man in charge at Wanda Metropolitano nervous. Diego Simeone has acknowledged the threat of financially powerful Chinese Super League clubs buying his players has made him feel “uncomfortable”, as Yannick Carrasco nears a move to Dalian Yifang.Carrasco joined Atletico in 2015 and looked promising in his first two seasons, but the Belgium international has been more of a peripheral figure this term.The 24-year-old has started just eight of Atletico’s 24 La Liga games this season and scored three goals, with the club’s impressive array of attacking talent counting against him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Yifang emerged as a potential destination in recent days and Simeone has previously suggested the transfer is entirely down to Carrasco, who could also be joined at the Super League club by Fernando Torres.Although the 33-year-old’s potential exit is not as far along as Carrasco’s, Simeone accepts he is “worried” about the financial lure of Chinese football and suggests there should be a single transfer deadline for all, with the Super League’s transfer window not due to end until February 28.Speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday’s trip to Sevilla, Simeone said: “I am worried because with all the money that goes around, aside from the decision of the players, for the coaches it’s uncomfortable because you think about what can happen.”It’s not the player, the representative, the negotiations [that cause you to worry] – it’s the amount of time, because it [the CSL transfer window] ends on February 28.”It is two months in which the heads of the players can be turned. It would be better to put a deadline for everyone, so that clubs, coaches and players are calmer.”I cannot say much about Carrasco because he is negotiating his situation. Fernando’s position I do not have any news of. We all train well and when the market is over, we will evaluate what might happen.”I never get into people’s choices. Whenever I grow, I see it as a good thing. If it is economic growth it is a personal choice. In football I’m never surprised.”
Manchester United Manchester United not in awe of City, insists Young Joe Wright 19:46 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester United Premier League England World Cup Crystal Palace v Manchester United Manchester City The defender has said that United are not paying attention to what their crosstown rivals have achieved this season Ashley Young insists Manchester United have not been in awe of Manchester City’s performances this season.Pep Guardiola’s side won the EFL Cup final against Arsenal last week and are cruising towards the Premier League title, with a 15-point lead at the top ahead of their meeting with champions Chelsea on Sunday.Barring a dramatic collapse in the coming weeks, it will be the second time City have been crowned champions in the last five seasons, while United have not been close to a title triumph since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But Young insists they have plenty to play for domestically and in the Champions League and says City are not discussed by the squad.”We aren’t in awe of Man City,” he told The Daily Mail. “They have had a good season, you can’t get around that, but we talk about ourselves.”I don’t think you’d find a United player talking about City, as you wouldn’t find a City player talking about United. We concentrate on what is happening here.”Credit to them, they have done fantastically well this season. But we’re fighting on all fronts. Even in the league, until the points are done and they’ve won it, we’ve got a lot to play for.”Young has established himself as Jose Mourinho’s first-choice left-back, ahead of Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, and his performances led to an England call-up last November for the first time in five years.The former Aston Villa star now hopes to be part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans, having missed out on a place at the 2014 finals.”Of course, it was bitterly disappointing,” he said of not going to Brazil. “I’d been to the Euros but the World Cup is a pinnacle.”I’ve never had an ego about [my position]. Things can be dissected too much. It’s football: go and play. There’s two goals, there’s the ball, go and score.”If I’m asked to play a certain position, I’ll do it 100 per cent. Not to fill in, to cement a place. I can play in six different positions where managers can trust me. It must give them food for thought knowing I can do a job in different positions.”Maybe that versatility could help with England. The World Cup is coming up quicker than people realise. My last call-up was brilliant. I would like to think I deserved it, the manager said he would pick players on form and I think I’ve been playing well this season.”There is another England squad in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I can be in that and then we have to wait and see. I’ve got to carry on what I have been doing and hopefully get the recognition.”Now 32, Young admits he wants to retire at United, having shrugged off speculation about his future on more than one occasion since his move in 2011.”It’s reported every year that I am about to leave but I’ve always wanted to be here,” he added. “I’d like to finish my career at United. I’ve got that mentality to keep going and change people’s minds.”I know how to play the game, I’ve got a football brain, and feel as fit and healthy as I did when I was younger. I’d be able to give the 23-year-old me a race.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
UEFA Europa League AC Milan clash is Wenger’s last chance to save Arsenal job Chris Wheatley Arsenal Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:51 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Goal UEFA Europa League Arsenal Arsène Wenger Milan v Arsenal Milan The Gunners face a tough European tie against Rino Gattuso’s in-form side and surely only victory can save the Frenchman from losing his job There are some stadiums which instantly get the hairs on your back standing up when you hear their name; the Santiago Bernabeu, Old Trafford and the Maracana are just three examples. The San Siro, or Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, is undoubtedly another and on Thursday night Arsene Wenger will take his Arsenal side to the historic arena to face an AC Milan team who have been inspired by former player and new manager Rino Gattuso.Milan are on a 13-game unbeaten run and haven’t conceded a goal in almost 600 minutes of football. They are solid, organised and playing like a team capable of challenging heavyweights Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund for the Europa League trophy.In stark contrast, Arsenal’s last six games in all competitions have seen them defeated four times – including at home to Swedish side Ostersunds FK – while their last victory in the Premier League was over a month ago against Everton. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The Gunners have only won seven points from their eight league games so far in 2018, while they are 33 points behind league leaders Manchester City and, perhaps more relevantly, 13 points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham in the race for the final Champions League spot.Indeed, Wenger has more pressing issues than qualifying for the Champions League through domestic competition – and he’s already admitted that the chances of Arsenal finishing in the top four are ‘unlikely’.For over two decades Arsenal’s qualification for the Champions League seemed like a sure bet under Wenger, but a worrying decline has seen them slip further away from the pack in both England and Europe – leaving the very real chance of a second season without Champions League football.What was initially described via clichés such as a ‘breath of fresh air’ and an ‘opportunity to compete’ in the Europa League has been replaced by a mountain of pressure for a match in which Wenger’s immediate future could hinge on.Chief executive Ivan Gazidis began exerting his influence last summer with the appointments of Darren Burgess as Director of High Performance and Huss Fahmy arriving as a legal expert.Those changes have been taken up a notch recently with Raul Sanllehi signing on as Head of Football Relations and Sven Mislintat coming in as Head of Recruitment. The latter was heavily involved in all three of Arsenal’s January signings and will play a huge part in the club’s recruitment drive on the playing side this summer.Meanwhile, Gattuso’s appointment at Milan is certainly something Arsenal should take note of. Club legends returning to their former clubs to coach should only be accepted if the appointment is made on merit, not sentiment – with Thierry Henry recently reiterating his desire to become Gunners boss one day.Another option is Mikel Arteta who is succeeding with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, while coaching staff roles for the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Martin Keown surely make sense at a time when Arsenal look devoid of creativity, defensive nous and the ability to score.Those who are questioning the confusing and far from transparent ownership dealings at Milan will almost certainly be the subject of envy from Arsenal fans. They have interested owners whose line of communication to the fans has been to hire a club legend.Arsenal executive director Josh Kroenke is currently in London on a three month review of the workings at the club, yet he wasn’t present for the Gunners’ latest Premier League defeat to Brighton on Sunday. Was he too busy or indifferent to what happens on the pitch?“We have a saying over at Arsenal, victory through harmony,” Kroenke recently told the Woj Podcast. “I think that victory through harmony can take a lot of different meanings, but for me victory through harmony comes from communication.”Communication is indeed key for an Arsenal side who look like a mess on the pitch at the moment. Victory at San Siro wouldn’t achieve the harmony Kroenke alludes to but it would give Wenger and his team some breathing space amid a packed schedule.European glory and a passage into the latter stages of the Europa League could be enough to salvage what has been Wenger’s worst campaign as Arsenal boss since he arrived in 1996.Ultimately, the undeniable truth is that Wenger needs Arsenal more than they need him and that has been the case for quite some time now. There is no better test of a team’s resolve than coming out on top in a tricky European away game and if Arsenal can surpass the new and improved AC Milan to salvage something from their disastrous season, then it could keep Wenger in a job until the end of the season at the very least.