Guts lead to glory

first_imgView Gallery (4 Photos)IOWA CITY, Iowa – Decisions, decisions.For a head coach on the road in a tight game, the outcome isoften decided by a few nerve-wracking play calls. Do you take risks or play it conservative?Saturday in Iowa City, UW head coach Bret Bielema rolled thedice and as a result he walked off the field with his team carrying theHeartland Trophy.To earn that 31-30 victory over Iowa, Bielema trusted hisplayers to execute with pressure bearing down on them and the first of those pressure-packed, game-defining decisions came with UW down 13-10 in the third quarter.After forcing Iowa to go three-and-out on the openingpossession of the second half, UW drove down to the 2-yard line and the Badgerswere faced with a fourth-and-one. Initially, it looked as though Phillip Welchand the kicking unit was coming onto the field, as a field goal would have tied the game at 13. But Bielema held them back andstuck with John Clay and the running game.With the sold-out crowd in Kinnick Stadium on their feet,the Badgers ran left, and Clay pounded his way into the end zone for the momentumswinging score.“We as players, appreciate that, when the coaches are confident to make those risky calls,” quarterback Scott Tolzien said.Two players in particular along the UW offensive line putBielema’s mind at ease when making the decision to go for it.“I can not say enough about Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt onmy left side as a head coach to be able to go to them,” Bielema said. “Itwasn’t by chance we ran left.”But the hallmark, gutsy play call of the day came with undereight minutes left in the game. The Badgers were down six after giving up atouchdown. At his own 26-yard line on fourth down with four yards to go,Bielema saw the potential for a fake punt.He instructed his punt unit, and lineman Ryan Groy to makethe call at the line if Iowa came out with a certain look.The Hawkeyes presented the formation UW was hoping for andGroy called for the fake.“That was a deep breath,” Bielema said. “We just made thecall once I saw them put the punt return unit out there. We gave them the calland Ryan Groy, a second-string offensive guard is making that decision – a goodMiddleton kid with a good GPA – we trusted him and he went out there and madethe call. [Punter] Brad Nortman did the mechanics and took off running.”Nortman took off all right and he picked up 17 yards and acrucial first down as he sprinted down the middle of the field untouched on adesigned run.“Back there I was excited, I was nervous, I was all the abovebut I was going to do everything I could to get those yards,” Nortman said. “Mycoverage guys sold it perfectly and all I had to do is run.”“That was awesome,” said senior linebacker Blake Sorensen.“Luckily it worked, [Bielema] looks like a genius now and that was agreat call.”After Nortman’s first down run, the Badgers sill needed atouchdown to take the lead with time winding down. UW was playing withoutstarting tight end Lance Kendricks and starting wide receiver Nick Toon but theBadgers decided to utilize the shotgun formation with five receivers during thecritical drive.Bielema and the Badgers went with an empty backfield and putthe game in the hands of quarterback Scott Tolzien despite the injuries to hisplaymakers.“Scott has really showed me how well he responded toadversity,” Bielema said. “Who would have though we would be going empty asmuch as we did”?For a team that prides itself on running the football, itwas a shock to see such a drastic change in philosophy late in the game.But once again, the unconventional plan worked.Tolzien connected with three different receivers on thatgame-winning drive, including sophomore running back Montee Ball, who caught a7-yard reception on fourth and four at the Iowa 34-yard line.Another surprising decision came when Ball was asked tofinish the dramatic drive. Clay was a spectator as Ball remained in the gameand reeled off a punishing 8-yard, game-winning touchdown run to put theBadgers ahead by a point with just over a minute remaining.There were a lot of guts shown by Bielema and the BadgersSaturday. And at the end of the day there was plenty of glory to go along withit.“Whether we won this football game or not there were goingto be a couple critical decisions that had to be made,” Bielema said.“The guys justhad a tremendous amount of faith and executed.”last_img read more

Exclusive:Abedi Pele blasts Ghana FA over his sons’ resignation from Black Stars

first_imgGhana legend Abedi Pele has twisted the knife even further into the Ghana Football Association for the standoff between them and his two sons.The three-time legend insists the GFA is to be blamed for the decision by his sons to withdraw from the Black Stars.“I always believe that they are grown up children, 23 and 21. Well, they’ve lived in Europe for the past 23 years so for me this is an opportunity for them to take things on their own,” Abedi exclusively told Joy Sports Kwame Dwomoh Agyemang.“But occasionally, father and mother will always chip in a word or two but for the moment, the children are doing the right thing.“It is their decision and we just have to support them.“Everybody there is a friend. Kwesi Appiah, I have played with him but if you have a friend who has disappointed you, what do you do?,” Andre and Jordan have been in the news after temporarily quitting the Black Stars citing reasons of victimization and unfair treatment, following their exclusion from Ghana’s squad to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.The Ghana FA urged the Olympique Marseille duo to reconsider their decision and make an immediate return for this month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier againstBut the two players want some more time for the wounds to heal.last_img read more

Jermell Charlo’s emphatic statement to Bare Knuckle letdown: The good, the bad and dirty in the week of boxing

first_imgThe Dirty- Malignaggi and Lobov put on a dud for the ages. A ton of hype surrounded BKFC 6. The promotion, Malignaggi, and Lovbov did a great job making the event feel like a significant deal. Malignaggi and Lobov did media all over the country selling the fight, saying how they didn’t like each other, how bad they were going to hurt one another and provided the usual low brow shenanigans we stated above, including the former boxing star saying he would urinate in Lobov’s mouth.Then, Malignaggi and Lobov stepped into the ring and fought. Yes, we got some cuts, bruising, a little blood, but Malignaggi and Lobov failed to deliver on what they promised the world. What people saw was nothing more than a below average bar fight at 2 a.m.Putting their uncalled for words to action proved to be too much of a task as the rivals were more content on dancing, throwing atrocious punches and showing once again that more often than not, the bark is more significant than the bite. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearWith Harrison sitting ringside, Charlo was trying to figure out Cota’s awkward style during the first two rounds. That changed in the third when a short right hook crumpled Cota to the canvas. Cota should have stayed down because when he rose up to his feet, Charlo immediately pounced on his wobbly opponent and hit Cota with a thudding straight right hand that nearly sent the 40-1 underdog through the ropes. If one wasn’t enough, @TwinCharlo hit him with a second knockdown…JERMELL CHARLO IS BACK! pic.twitter.com/25nJDa13dK— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) June 24, 2019 Charlo did precisely what he should have done. He got in, got out and preserved his title shot at Harrison, who didn’t look to be too impressed with the finish.-Andrew Cancio proves he’s for real. There were still doubts from many people whether Cancio could have a repeat performance from his fourth-round stoppage over Alberto Machado in February. Not only did the guy who works a full-time job at a gas company in Oxnard, CA. prove to those in boxing that he’s the real deal, but he also quickly finished Machado the second time around with a third-round knockout to retain the WBA (regular) super featherweight title. The excuse in their first fight was Machado wasn’t in shape because of a severe weight cut. On Friday night, Machado entered the ring in great shape. But none of that mattered as Cancio showed he’s the better fighter. The 30-year-old stuck to the script from their bout four months ago by staying on the inside to negate Machado’s reach advantage, pound away at the body and throw power shots. He nearly finished off Machado in the second round which had him on shaky legs and not knowing where his corner was.Going back to what was effective in the previous stanza, Cancio continued to pound the body. “El Chango” closed the show when he reached back with a scintillating left hook to the body that took a moment to deliver its full effect, as Machado crumbled to a knee. Machado made it up to his feet, but the referee looked at Machado and decided he couldn’t go on.It’s time to start taking Cancio seriously as a legit and top fighter in the 130-pound division among the likes of fellow titleholders Gervonta Davis, Miguel Berchelt and Tevin Farmer. Where he ranks is up to you, but Cancio showed he is in that echelon of the elite at super featherweight.- Where has this Guillermo Rigondeaux been in all of our lives? When it was announced that Rigondeaux was going to take on Julio Ceja, you could hear the collective groans far and wide. For as great Rigondeaux is, the two-time Olympic gold medalist hasn’t proven to be the most exciting fighter and more often than not puts the crowd in the arena and the people watching at home to sleep. But on this Sunday night in Las Vegas in the co-main event of Charlo-Cota, Rigondeaux put on a crowd-pleasing performance that makes one wonder why the 38-year-old waited so long to compete like this? He stood in the pocket and went toe-to-toe, slinging the leather with Cota. And he absorbed shots from Cota as well and didn’t back off. Then in the eighth round, Rigondeaux launched a blistering left hook to drop Cota to the mat. To the testament of Ceja, he got up, but the referee used great discretion and waved it off. Hopefully, this wasn’t an anomaly, and we see more of this from Rigondeaux as this was the best time I ever had watching the Cuban fight.The Bad- Oh, Paulie Malignaggi. The former two-division world champion and current Showtime Boxing analyst said everything under the sun to disparage Artem Lobov heading into their main event tilt at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 on Saturday evening. He slapped Lobov, spit on him, hit him on the head with a microphone and said he’d win rather easily.That wasn’t the case as Malignaggi lost to Lobov by unanimous decision. The judges scored the first two rounds for Malignaggi and the final three for Lobov. (Sporting News scored it 48-47 for Malignaggi). After watching the fight back, the judges got the scores right. Malignaggi won the opening rounds with his boxing and then Lobov was the aggressor and landed the harder shots in the later rounds.Instead of giving credit to Lobov for what he did, Malignaggi had a poor attitude and went on to blame a broken hand suffered in the second round, the judging, and his age.“He was getting out-boxed very easily, but now I was cut, and the bush league judges scored the blood and not the actual fight,” Malignaggi said at the post-fight press conference. “As the fight was winding down, I was like, ‘This ain’t so bad.’ I was controlling the action, I was controlling the tempo, I was so calm.“I think if I had been left with two hands and I hadn’t broken it in round two, I could have got off some really fresh combinations,” Malignaggi continued. “I got in my groove as the fight went on – I just only had one hand.”“This is also a problem when you have a state that has a fight every 50 years,” Malignaggi added. “You have judges that don’t know what the (expletive) they’re watching. They don’t know what the (expletive) they’re doing, and you get this. Everybody and their mothers thought I won this fight, but you know what? I’m also 38-years-old, and I guess this is sort of a sign to say, ‘Yo, you’ve got to stop.’”The tone of Malignaggi comes from the fact he got embarassed and he knew it. He shouldn’t have lost to Lobov even though he was long in the tooth and had seen better days inside the ring. His vast experience alone should have netted him a victory. But Malignaggi did nothing of note in the final six minutes against a below average MMA fighter with mediocre punching at best.Hopefully, Malignaggi rewatches the fight and realizes how bad he looked, comes to the realization he lost, stops coming up with every excuse and blames himself for letting down the boxing community. It was another interesting week in boxing. Here are the highs and lows of the last seven days.The Good-Jermell Charlo sends a definitive statement to Tony Harrison. Charlo and Harrison were supposed to have their rematch on Sunday night, but the WBC junior middleweight champion pulled out a couple of weeks beforehand due to torn ligaments in his right ankle. Jorge Cota stepped up to the plate on short notice to see if he could pull off an Andy Ruiz Jr. However, Charlo had different plans in mind, blowing out Cota and scoring perhaps the most violent knockout of 2019 in the third round. last_img read more

Agreement Between Sarajevo and Chelsea Agreed: Matej Delač Will Arrive to Koševo

first_imgThe English football giant Chelsea will offer the talented goalie Matej Delač to FK Sarajevo, confirmed to klix.ba Abdulah Ibraković, Sports Director of FK Sarajevo.Ibraković said that the response of acceptance of cooperation arrived from Chelsea on Thursday around 14:00.‘’Chelsea confirmed the agreement on cooperation with Sarajevo regarding Matej Delač. The details of the agreement are confidential’’, said Ibraković. Chelsea has accepted all the conditions of the team leaders from Koševo, and the only thing that remains is to coordinate the length of the loan. Delač is expected to arrive to Sarajevo in several days.The goalie of Chelsea was born in 1992 in Gornji Vakuf, and went to the school for football Intera from Zaprešić. He started playing for Intera at 16 years old and 186 days, and became the youngest player of the Croatian Football League. He went to the London club in 2010, after which he was on loan to several clubs, of which the last one was Vojvodina from Novi Sad.(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more