Texas A&M isn’t far from making a ton of noise in SEC West race

Athlon spring previews:Oregon/Florida State/Georgia/USC/Michigan State/TCU/Notre Dame/Ole Miss/California/Arizona State/Clemson/LSU/Penn State/Wisconsin/Texas AM/Mississippi State/Tennessee/UCLA/Stanford

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It was a busy offseason in College Station, as Texas AM and coach Kevin Sumlin made the defense a top priority after this unit has struggled mightily through three years in the SEC.

John Chavis was hired away from LSU, and the veteran coordinator is tasked with fixing a defense that allowed 36.6 points per game in SEC contests last season.

Scoring points won’t be a problem for the Aggies. However, improving in the win column means Texas AM has to take a step forward on defense.

Allen could be a breakout star

If his freshman season is any indication, quarterback Kyle Allen will develop into one of the top passers in theSEC this year. Thrust into the starting ineup in November, Allen threw three touchdown passes against Missouri and four against Auburn and West Virginia. Allen, an Arizona native, will try to continue that momentum in the season-opener against Arizona State.

Still, Allen must stave off a challenge from highly WHITE GOLD AIR JORDAN 1 RETRO High Pinnacle touted freshman Kyler Murray — assuming Murray doesn’t sign a professional baseball contract (he has publicly stated he’s bypassing the MLB Draft). Whoever emerges has an array of talented receivers to target. Sophomore Speedy Noil is the deep threat his name would suggest, while junior Josh Reynolds set a school record with 13 touchdown catches.

SEC QB RANKINGS

  • Who holds the edge under center heading into this season? The conference’s QBs ranked one to 14.

    The Aggies must run more effectively, though. More production is desperately needed from running backs Tra Carson and Brandon Williams (who might also play some cornerback), who are running behind an offensive line that didn’t meet AM’s typical standards in 2014. The Aggies allowed 27 sacks and failed too often to convert short-yardage situations. Enter former Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen, who will coordinate the running game and coach the offensive line. He’s stressed better technique and a more aggressive mentality.

    Can John Chavis be a defensive savior?

    Frustrated from two years of inept defensive play, coach Kevin Sumlin convinced John Chavis, one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators, to leave LSU and come to College Station. The move cost AM $1.7 million per season, but if Chavis can rejuvenate the once-proud Wrecking Crew, that price tag will look like a bargain.

    Athletic pass-rushing ends are of utmost importance in Chavis’ scheme, and he has them. Myles Garrett set anSECfreshman record with 11.5 sacks and projects to be even better in 2015. The Aggies believe they will be able to apply pressure from the other end, too. Junior Daeshon Hall has bulked up to 260 pounds and seems primed for a breakout year. Senior tackle Alonzo Williams is effective against the run but desperately needs help inside.

    The linebacker position has been especially moribund the past two seasons, but there are some signs of improvement. Sophomore Otaro Alaka showed steady improvement and was named Defensive MVP of Where To Get Mid PRM Suede Grey Blue White Nike Blazer the Liberty Bowl. However, injuries have been a recurring problem. Junior college transfer Claude George had a strong showing in the spring at middle linebacker and figures to upgrade AM’s run defense immediately.

    TOP 30 DEFENSIVE STARS ON THE RISE

  • These 30 players are primed to have breakout seasons across the country in 2015.

    The Aggies also need to improve their pass defense. Senior cornerback De’Vante Harris has started since his freshman season, but he’s also been inconsistent. He may flourish in Chavis’ aggressive press coverage scheme. AM is in better shape at safety. Armani Watts aims to build on a solid true freshman season in which he grabbed three picks. Junior college transfer Justin Evans drew raves in the spring.

    Tale of two kickers

    Punter is an area of strength. Drew Kaser, a Ray Guy Award finalist, is among the best in the country. Placekicking is another matter. Taylor Bertolet has great range but questionable accuracy. He’s converted just 4-of-12 field goal attempts between 30 and 49 yards and has missed 10 extra points.

    Texas AM’s 2015 outlook

    The Aggies have learned they can go only so far in the SEC without a strong defense. Therefore, they’re counting on Chavis to rebuild a unit that ranked 102nd in the nation and last in meilleures chaussures running Mid PRM Suede Bleu Blanc Nike Blazer Livraison express the SEC in total defense in 2014. Chavis has young talent with which to work but obviously faces a tall task. The Aggies have a high-scoring offense loaded with big-play threats, so they can be a serious contender in the SEC with a respectable defense. How quickly can Chavis deliver?

    More fromAthlon Sports:

  • Boban back to best in Doomben 10,000 win

    Boban back to best in Doomben 10,000 win

    Photo Source: AAP

    Trainer Chris Waller’s attention to detail helped him plot a first-up win for Boban in the Group One Doomben 10,000 on Saturday.

    Boban ($17) took his prize money past $2 million and gave Waller his 12th Group One win for the season when he came from third last at the 600m.

    He beat Charlie Boy ($18) by a short neck with a nose to Generalife ($7.50) in third place.

    Boban struggled for his best form during the Sydney autumn and after he ran second last in the Chipping Norton Stakes in February, Waller sent him for a spell.

    Sydney’s premier trainer, Waller made a close study of Boban’s racing patterns and noticed he went well fresh and also seemed to get on well with jockey Glyn Schofield.

    "We probably had Nike Air Max 90 HYP PRM Jaune Vert Rouge been wasting his first-up runs in other campaigns because we tried him at 1200 metres," Waller said.

    "But I thought if we got him out to 1350 metres first-up he would be very well suited.

    "That is the way it turned out and full marks to him," he said.

    Boban is no certainty to press on to the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on June 6.

    "It is a pity the weights don’t come out for another week. He is going to get top weight and I don’t know if the handicap conditions will suit him," Waller said.

    Boban has now won four Group One races with the 10,000 complementing his wins in the Epsom Nike Blazer Mid PRM Suede Beige Nero negozio di scarpe Handicap, Emirates Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes.

    In all four wins he has been ridden by former South African jockey Schofield.

    "The horse is hard to handle but he seems to like Glyn and goes well for him. Full credit to Glyn. It was a top ride," Waller said.

    Schofield said Boban seemed to have regained his zest for racing.

    "We had to take a tight split on the home turn but he went through it and hit the line hard," Schofield said.

    "Only Chris knows the problems he has had with this horse. But full credit to Chris he has done a great job with him," Schofield added.

    Blake Shinn, who rode Fast Shipping To Buy Mid PRM Suede Brown White Nike Blazer Outlet Stores Charlie Boy, said it had been a top run and the gelding joined in like a winner at the 200m.

    "The winner was just a bit too strong for us," Shinn said.

    Hugh Bowman also thought Generalife was going to win before the Godolphin sprinter had to settle for third with stablemate Knoydart taking fourth.

    Ramsey wants to stay as QPR bos

    Chris Ramsey wants the QPR job on a long-term basis, but warned there will be no quick fix for the west London club.

    Life at Loftus Road is bleak right now, with Rangers seven points from safety with just three matches of the Premier League campaign remaining.

    They could be down by the time they take to the field at Manchester City in the unlikely event all four catchable sides win on Saturday, while their fate will be sealed if they lose at the Etihad Stadium.

    Despite that, and the fact QPR have lost eight of their 12 matches under his tutorship, Ramsey has reportedly impressed enough to get the job past the end of the season.

    The Rs boss said nothing has yet been agreed with the club, but the former Tottenham coach’s desire to stay is clear.

    "We have had discussions before, but nothing has been put in concrete at the moment," Ramsey said.

    "There is still the rest of the season to be getting on with.

    "I am hoping I am going be here, but we have not put pen to paper and put anything in stone yet.

    "A decision is going to be made at the end of the season, but I am hoping it will be me at the helm. We have not put pen to paper yet."

    It looks likely that QPR will be a Championship club by the time that deal is struck and Ramsey believes it will be tougher than before to bounce back immediately, with player changes and a Financial Fair Play penalty looming large.

    He said the club are in a "rebuilding phase" whatever division they find themselves in, highlighting the need to build a foundation for the future.

    "I think it will be difficult because you do have a lot of obstacles that were probably not there before," Ramsey said.

    "If the season was to end up negatively, I think it would be important that everybody around realises that in order for the club to have long-term stability that there is going to be a rebuilding period.

    "People will have to be realistic about how long that is going to take.

    "Having said that, everybody would want to bounce straight back into the Premier League and I am sure that’s what we’re going to try and do.

    "But we have to be realistic about what we want for the club on a long-term basis."

    QPR’s immediate fate could be sealed in a match for which Ramsey said they are down to the "bare bones".

    Bobby Zamora, Steven Caulker, Clint Hill and Mauricio Isla are all doubts for the trip to the Etihad Stadium, while Nedum Onuoha, Eduardo Vargas and Alejandro Faurlin are unavailable through injury.

    Rio Ferdinand is also absent following the passing of wife Rebecca and Ramsey said the former England international has as much time as he needs.

    "He is obviously devastated and everybody at the club just wishes him all the best," the Rangers boss said.

    "Hopefully he can bring his family through it in the professional way that he has handled himself all the way through a very difficult time.

    "We are not going to push anything or even mention it to him. There are some things greater than your job, aren’t there?

    "If he decides to come back and train and make himself available, then he will be in contention to be picked."

    Adidas Nitrocharge 2015 Canadiens-Lightning Preview

    Having home-ice advantage in last year’s first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens did nothing to help the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Tampa Bay has turned the tables on Montreal in this postseason.

    After taking the first two on the road, the Lightning look to pull within a victory of reaching the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night at home.

    Tampa Bay fell in an 0-2 hole in 2014 before being swept with two defeats in Montreal. After winning all five meetings in the regular season, the Lightning won Game 1 on the road aided by a blown non-call before Sunday’s dominant 6-2 victory.

    Coach Jon Cooper is confident his club can carry its solid play to its home rink despite Tampa being just 2-4 in Amalie Arena over the last two postseasons. It dropped two during its seven-game win over Detroit in the first round.

    I’m not as much worried about Montreal’s desperation level as I am ours, Cooper said. The mere fact that we’re at home means nothing in Game 3 of the playoffs. To us, the series is 0-0 and we need to treat it like that.

    The Canadiens have lost their last three playoff games at home, but they won two of three on the road while beating Ottawa in six games in the first round.

    ”I don’t know how much home ice has been an advantage in all the playoffs so far,” said Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, who has a .961 save percentage while winning the last four. ”We look forward to going home, but it’s not going to be any easier.”

    And the Canadiens in no way are feeling defeated. Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy finalist Carey Price allowed his most goals of the season in Game 2, but his teammates didn’t give him much help as the Lightning converted 4 of 8 on the power play.

    Montreal is 1 for 26 with the man advantage in the playoffs, leaving special teams as the main area of focus in practice leading up to this contest.

    We still have a lot of belief in our locker room and the guys that we have, defenseman Tom Gilbert told the team’s official website. It doesn’t matter how many times they beat us throughout the regular season, Game 1 or Game 2. I think if we can just play a full 60 minutes, we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win.

    Price’s .922 save percentage in the playoffs doesn’t exactly stand out after he led the NHL with a .933 mark in the regular season. However, he’s at .947 in even-strength situations, with nine of the 20 goals he’s allowed in the postseason coming with the Canadiens short-handed.

    Montreal’s 138 penalty minutes rank second among playoff teams, and its inability to stay out of the box provides more power-play time for Steven Stamkos. He scored his first goal of this year’s playoffs with the man advantage in Game 2.

    ”It was definitely a release of some things that have been building up,” Stamkos said. ”Whether it’s my first or my 20th, your emotions are running high. Any time you score a goal in the playoffs it’s exciting, but that one maybe a little more so than others I’ve scored.”

    The Lightning were 0 for 23 on the power play over their previous six before Sunday’s outburst.

    Rouge Louboutin Backlund’s OT goal lifts Flames over Ducks 4-3

    CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Mikael Backlund didn’t need to see the biggest goal of his NHL career go in.

    The crowd Rouge Louboutin and the rest of the Calgary Flames told him he’d scored the winner.

    Backlund scored on a delayed penalty call in overtime, lifting the late-charging Flames over the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Tuesday night.

    ”It was an amazing feeling. It’s hard to describe,” said Backlund. ”I didn’t believe it went in at first, but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”

    Johnny Gaudreau scored with 19.5 seconds left in the third period to tie the game for the Flames, who had an apparent goal disallowed minutes earlier.

    Anaheim leads the second-round Western Conference series 2-1, with Game 4 on Friday night here.

    On the delayed Ducks penalty and with Flames goaltender Karri Ramo pulled for an extra attacker, Backlund’s shot from the blue line through traffic beat Frederik Andersen at 4:24 of overtime.

    ”We’re still fighting an uphill battle,” said Joe Colborne. ”The way we’ve been playing at home, the way we have the support of our fans right now, we’re feeling confident we can take care of business here and go try and figure things out in Anaheim. It’ll be a hungry hockey team here in a couple days.”

    Colborne had a short-handed goal for Calgary, while Brandon Bollig also connected. But Sam Bennett’s shot, which seemed to barely sneak over the goal line, was disallowed in the third period after a video review.

    The rookie’s shot from close range at 13:38 appeared from certain angles to slide under Andersen’s right pad and behind the goal line. But the NHL’s review headquarters ruled ”no conclusive evidence” of a goal, bringing loud boos and protests from the fans.

    Flames coach Bob Hartley screamed at the officials to look at the stop-action replay on Saddledome’s videoboard.

    Patrick Maroon, Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored for the Ducks in their first loss in these playoffs after they swept Winnipeg. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf contributed a pair of assists and Andersen stopped 17 shots.

    The Flames stayed unbeaten at home this postseason. Ramo made 18 saves and Gaudreau, a rookie of the year finalist, got Calgary’s first power-play goal of the series after going 0 for 11 to force overtime.

    ”That’s an all-world shot,” said Colborne. ”There was probably Kobe 10 Elite Low three or four inches there and Johnny just picked it.”

    The Ducks’ Beleskey scored his third in as many games in this series in the second period off a drop pass from Ryan Kesler for a 3-2 lead.

    Colborne’s first goal of the postseason had tied it 2-2. Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm lost his footing and Colborne went in alone, beating Andersen by going backhand to forehand with a superb move.

    Getzlaf, whose face adorns a banner hanging from the Saddledome rafters – he was a junior star with the Calgary Hitmen – was the difference for the Ducks in the first period. He muscled the puck away from Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie on Perry’s goal.

    Getzlaf also set up Maroon’s goal with a finesse pass from beyond the faceoff circle to Maroon for the redirect.

    ”We’re playing a good team. There’s no doubt about that,” said Getzlaf. ”They haven’t quit all year. We didn’t expect that.”

    The Flames opened the scoring for the first time in the series with Bollig’s goal only 2:07 in. With Anaheim pinching along the boards, Bollig headed for open ice and scored off an odd-man rush with Mason Raymond.

    Chaussure Air Max 90 pas cher PREVIEWReal Madrid determined to keep up pressure on BarcelonaBy Duncan Shaw, dpa

    Real Madrid are breathing down the necks of Spanishleaders Barcelona, who have only a two-point lead going into the lastfive rounds of the Liga programme.?

    The whites are now aiming to maintain the pressure by beating lowlyAlmeria at home Wednesday.

    "Our strategy is to oblige Barca to win everything. The numbers leaveus with no alternative to this," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti saidafter his side’s impressive 4-2 win at Celta
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    Real’s hero in Vigo was Javier Hernandez, who followed on from hiswinning goal in the Champions League against neighbours Atletico witha brace in Balaidos.

    Hernandez, on loan from Manchester United, has hardly played thisseason, but is now standing in for the injured Karim Benzema to goodeffect.

    "Hernandez is enjoying a wonderful moment, which is really good. Ifhe continues like this, he will stay in the team."

    Meanwhile, the Mexican striker is just pleased to be useful, afternine months on the sidelines.

    "It is great to be helping the team at last…I don’t know if I’mgoing to be in Madrid for just two more months or for many years.Only God knows that."

    By the time that Real kick off against Almeria, Barca will probablyhave increased their lead to five points by beating midtable GetafeTuesday.

    Barca will be without left-back Jordi Alba, suspended after beingsent off in Saturday’s 2-0 win at neighbours Espanyol.

    In any case, coach Luis Enrique is planning to ‘rotate’ his defenceand midfield, although the ‘trident’ attack of Lionel Messi, LuisSuarez and Neymar – which is full of goals at the moment – is likelyto continue.

    "If those three are having a good day and linking up well, thenthere’s not really much one can do to stope them," Getafe defenderAlvaro Arroyo said.

    Tuesday will also see the Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao andReal Sociedad, plus a relegation battle between Levante and Cordoba.

    Atletico Madrid will be trying to retain third place Wednesday bywinning at Villarreal, who are sixth. Leading the Atletico again willbe Antoine Griezmann, who is third in the scorers chart – behindCristiano Ronaldo of Real and Barca’s Messi – with 22 goals.

    Wednesday will also see Celta v Malaga, Eibar v Sevilla and Elche vDeportivo
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    Sevilla are currently fourth and in impressive form, determined tofight until the last day for the third position that will give directaccess to the Champions League for next season.

    Valencia – also in the fight for third place along with Sevilla andAtletico – will visit Rayo Vallecano Thursday, while Granada willhost Espanyol.

    Kyrie 1 GS Leonard Williams is the No. 1 prospect, but no one knows where he’ll go

    Leonard Williams is the No. 1 prospect, but no one knows where he’ll go

    USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams is the consensus best player in the 2015 NFL draft. Mike Mayock thinks so, Mel Kiper thinks so, and most of the lesser-known draft “experts” who pop up around this time of year think so.But where there’s widespread agreement that Williams is a great player, there’s no agreement at all about which team will draft Williams on Thursday night. And there’s even a chance that the best player in the draft Kyrie 1 GS could drop.The Buccaneers appear to be set on Jameis Winston, so Williams won’t go first overall.The Titans seem to Chaussures Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit be leaning toward drafting Marcus Mariota, or trading the second overall pick to a team that wants Mariota.

    Nike Air Max 2016 Zach Zenner diary- As new beginning approaches, contemplating end to football life

    Zach Zenner played running back at South Dakota State, where he became the first FCS back to rush for 2,000 yards in three different seasons and finished 12 yards shy of setting the FCS’ all-time rushing record. Projected to be a late-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Zenner will take you through the process of training for the NFL Combine, his pro day, the anticipation for draft day and more. Check out his earlier entries at the bottom of the page, and follow Zenner on Twitter @Zenner31.

    One of the realities that every football player will face at some point in his career is the knowledge that, one day, it’ll all be over. From the No. 1 overall pick to the last selection in the last round to the countless undrafted free agents fighting for roster spots each season, every player will eventually play a last snap, and for many, that’s a hard reality to accept.

    For some it’ll be a matter of months before they arrive at that conclusion while others might play for a decade or more before those thoughts and doubts begin to creep in, but the fact is, football is a sport that’s difficult to quit, and football players are simply hard-wired to believe that they’re never quite done.

    Now, I say all this not because I’m already grappling with that decision, myself. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m more ready and excited for football than ever as the countdown clock to the NFL Draft ticks closer and closer to zero.

    But my educational and professional ambitions outside the sport have left some concerned about my level of commitment to the game. And while I can understand why teams or fans might worry about where I stand while I’ve got a med school acceptance letter in my back pocket, I’m here to tell them, once and for all, that there’s no reason at all to be worried.

    As I’ve stated here before, I do one Nike Air Max 2016 day plan on going to medical school and my goal, at least for now, is to someday become a surgeon. I worked hard during my time at South Dakota State to put myself in a position to pursue such a career, after all. But while I might take an online class over the summer here or check out a conference there just to keep my neurons firing, my professional priority will be football until I’m totally positive that it’s not in my best interests to play anymore.

    Honestly, the debate as to when or why I might call it quits is one that hasn’t really entered my mind yet, and why should it? If anything, it’s almost surprising to me when it does come up. I’m a young guy who has worked my whole life to get to the precipice of the NFL, so now that I’m here, the idea of giving it up and hanging up my cleats any time soon sounds like the silliest thing in the world.

    I’d like to think it’ll be years and years before I’m done playing, and that maybe I’ll have a Super Bowl ring or two on my hand by then. But when I am finally finished –??whenever that is –??I think I’ll just know it’s time, and as long as I feel like I was given a fair opportunity to show what I can do and did my best when given the chance, I’ll be happy with what I’ve accomplished.

    The nature of football players is to go and go and go until you can’t anymore –??or until someone tells you, ‘Hey, listen, it’s over.’ And while I may not be the stereotypical football player away from the field, I’m no different from the hundreds of other guys who want to do this for a living. I wake up every morning eager to hit the gym or put my pads on, and my agent and I have made every team that has brought up the topic of my future aware of just how committed I would be to their team.

    Yeah, I’ve got a great backup plan, but I’m a football player first right now, and I’m ready to go and give my best effort for whatever team gives me the opportunity. Over the last week, I’ve heard from about five different organizations looking to verify my draft day contact information, so I’ve got a good feeling about my prospects, and I know I’ll get a chance somewhere. And soon enough, it’ll be time to show the team that picks me (and all the teams that pass on me) just how much I mean what I say.

    Chapter 1: Getting a Combine invite and getting engaged

    Chapter 2: Trying to score points at the Combine

    Chapter 3: Home sweet home back at South Dakota State

    Chapter 4: It’s a family affair as Zenner returns to Eagan

    Chapter 5: On Chris Borland, zapatos de futbol sala retirement and concussions

    Chapter 6: Making a final impression at Pro Day

    Chapter 7: Would I switch positions to make a team?

    Chapter 8: Getting selected vs. going undrafted

    melhores sapatilhas Running New Balance 996 Plum

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    Nike Roshe Run Donna Sturridge doubt for run-i

    The 25-year-old has been sidelined for the last three matches with a hip injury and will not return for Nike Roshe Run Donna Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Hull City at the KC Stadium.

    Sturridge has been plagued with injuries all season, making just 18 appearances in all competitions, and Rodgers expressed sympathy for the England forward.

    "It’s been difficult, Daniel is a good lad who wants to play and help the team but it’s been one of those seasons for him," he said.

    "He’s been very unfortunate and we’ll have to monitor day-by-day and see where he’s at.

    "When he’s been fit, he’s been brilliant, it’s just about getting him back on a consistent basis. Nike Air Force 1 Mid Whether that’s this season, or pre-season, has to be seen."

    After a strong start to the season, Sturridge was forced out for almost five months with a thigh injury suffered playing for England on September 2 and a setback in his groin before Christmas.

    He scored on his return against West Ham on January 31 but sustained a hip problem after scoring in the defeat to Manchester United on March 22.

    Sturridge has featured against Arsenal and Blackburn since but missed the games against Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Brom earlier this month.