Published on November 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | @jtbloss LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A week ago, Dino Babers asked a room full of reporters when they had last seen a quarterback perform as well as Wake Forest’s John Wolford had in his 500-yard game against Syracuse. Then Babers realized the answer was obvious and supplied it himself.“Well, it’s probably the guy we’re about to play this week, isn’t it?” he said.SU’s second-year head coach was alluding to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman winner who on Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium led the UofL (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) in a rainy, 56-10 dissection of Syracuse (4-7, 2-5) a year after posting an SU opponent record of 610 total yards in the Carrier Dome. Jackson’s 381 total yards this time around reminded the country why Louisville ranked No. 16 before the season began. His dominance is the latest reason why, for the fourth straight season, it’s highly unlikely Syracuse will play in a bowl game.“Disappointed we couldn’t stop more things on defense,” Babers said. “Lamar is a first-round draft pick, and someone just asked me if he’s better than (former Baylor quarterback and 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III). I want to say no, but God dang, he’s special.”While Jackson’s skills acted as the finishing blow to SU’s bowl hopes, Syracuse put itself in this position. Even the most optimistic preseason forecasts likely pegged the Louisville game as a loss. But entering the matchup against Louisville with four wins meant there was no more room to lose. SU needed a win to make next week’s game matter. Instead of having a chance to extend its seniors’ careers by earning a bowl berth, SU will send off its eldest players with yet another season-finale that means essentially nothing, and making this senior class the first to leave without playing in a bowl game since 2009.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Guys are just hurting, myself included,” senior linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “I think we will feel it all night.”Flashbacks to Louisville’s 62-28 drubbing of SU in the Carrier Dome last season rushed back immediately after the opening kickoff. In 36 seconds, Louisville ran two plays to go 80 yards for a touchdown. In response, SU senior quarterback Zack Mahoney threw an interception on Syracuse’s first offensive possession. Orange quarterbacks will now finish the season having tossed a pick on their first drive of every road game this year.Later, Jackson exited the pocket and took another chunk of SU’s hope with him. He dusted an overcommitted Evan Foster and stiff-armed a hopeless Devin M. Butler to glide into the endzone for a 43-yard score and a 14-3 lead.“Explosive plays kill you,” redshirt junior safety Rodney Williams said.The early explosions served as a notice, albeit an unnecessary one, that SU ought to respect Jackson when he runs in space. So when three Orange defenders corralled him in a similar spot on the field during the next Cardinals possession, Jackson pitched to UofL running back Reggie Bonnafon. He finished the run 33 yards later and gave Louisville a 14-3 lead. All week long, SU knew it would have to defend the same option plays it couldn’t stop last week. When the Orange didn’t, it only got uglier.A first-half weather delay made Syracuse sit on a 21-3 deficit for 43 minutes in the locker room. Redshirt Freshman Rex Culpepper replaced a benched Mahoney at quarterback. The change didn’t help. SU finished the game with 335 yards of total offense, but little to show for it. Jackson himself had more production.The offensive struggles — considering with usual starter Eric Dungey out for the second straight game with an injury — didn’t sting as much as the damage Jackson inflicted.“You can only contain him, you can’t really stop him,” Williams said. “… Even if you have the perfect call, him boxed in a one-on-one tackle, it’s still going to be tough to make that play. You can’t really practice for someone like that.”In the second quarter, Jackson slung a deep ball over the middle to a streaking Jay Smith. Smith had beaten Orange cornerback Juwan Dowels and had only SU safety Rodney Williams to beat. Williams was in decent position, right underneath Smith like he wanted to be, but not a good enough spot to do anything about the incoming ball. As soon as he turned around, Williams said, he knew the pass was perfect. Smith plucked it and cruised for a 72-yard knockout. On Louisville’s next possession, Jackson one-upped his passing precision and dropped a dime of a score into the hands of Bonnafon, the running back, on a wheel route. Syracuse’s Brandon Berry, a defensive end, attempted to cover Bonnafon on the play — the sign of a defense both depleted and defeated.After halftime, the list of Jackson highlights got too long. He juked SU senior linebacker Jonathan Thomas on a touchdown run that resembled his infamous hurdle from last year. The lead eventually grew so large that Jackson was rewarded with the warmth of a sideline poncho for the remainder of the game.It kept raining. The seats that went largely unfilled to start the game became increasingly empty. Syracuse watched as backups battled backups. A garbage-time Orange touchdown drew little reaction.That is the kind of lifeless condition one would expect when a team had its goal of earning a bowl invitation officially stamped as a failure. SU had its best start through seven games since 2011 and almost certainly won’t have a postseason game to show for it.“We wanted to compete for an ACC championship,” Williams said. “We had the opportunity and we let it slip away.”Tonight, credit Jackson. But blame Syracuse for letting his reckoning have the power to kill its season. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Turtle Beach Corporation, one of the largest headset and audio accessory makers has announced a partnership with Astralis. The deal will see Astralis use Turtle Beach’s new Elite Pro-PC Edition gaming headset and other accessories when competing in Counter-Strike Global Offensive tournaments. In addition, the new partnership reveals that members of Astralis, one of the world’s best CS:GO teams will play a key part in Turtle Beach’s future product development process — ensuring the needs of the best pro players are being met by the company’s products. According to Dot Esports, the long-term partnership could be worth a staggering seven-figure sum. That would rank it amongst the largest deals in esports to date. It’s the second big deal in a week for Turtle Beach as they revealed sponsorship of Splyce’s console gaming teams which are amongst the most popular and successful in the world. Astralis are no strangers to big brands either. Heading over to the Major, the crest of world renowned car-maker Audi was emblazoned on their jerseys. “I can’t think of a better way to strengthen our presence in the PC gaming market and to fortify the foundation for sustained success, than by joining forces with one of the most preeminent esports organisations in the world and arming them with what’s arguably the best gaming headset available,” said Juergen Stark, CEO, Turtle Beach Corporation in the press release. He continued: “With so many console gamers, pro players and teams already enjoying the Elite Pro since its debut last year, we knew we needed to extend this offering to gamers playing on PC too. This new partnership with Astralis continues to show that the best gamers in the world choose to work with Turtle Beach, and not only are we excited to jointly debut our new Elite Pro – PC Edition together, but we’re looking forward to working with them to bring even more groundbreaking gaming headsets to the PC space in the future.”“Whether it’s about facilities, equipment, training or events, at RFRSH we’re always working to achieve the optimum and to improve further – and this was a key mindset as we were looking to optimize the teams’ and players’ audio equipment,” said Jordi Roig, Chief Commercial Officer, RFRSH Entertainment – Astralis’ management firm. “We were looking for a company that was not only dedicated to excellent performance, but one that would also be a true partner in every sense of the term, and after an exhaustive search for a new audio partner for Astralis, we’re very pleased to welcome Turtle Beach to the team. The Astralis players and staff have tested the Elite Pro equipment extensively, and we truly believe, together with Turtle Beach, Astralis will become a major part of creating a new standard of PC audio products.”Esports Insider says: Huge deal for both Astralis and Turtle Beach if the figures are to be believed. Turtle Beach have traditionally been very well known in the console area but with this sponsorship it won’t be long before everyone’s rocking Turtle Beach peripherals instead.
“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a recent statement. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the flag is changed.”MORE: Why Florida banned its “Gator Bait” cheerThe NCAA has banned postseason events in Mississippi for the same reason.The SEC’s two schools in the state, Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi, have not displayed the flag since 2016. Both released statements of support in the wake of Sankey’s threat to keep conference championships out of the state until its flag is changed. Almost 20 years after the people of Mississippi voted to keep its state flag featuring the Confederate symbol, Mississippi legislators are proposing another bill that would remove the stars and bars from the upper corner of the banner.And in order for the state to host future Southeastern Conference championships, as it last did in 2016 with the SEC softball tournament, it will need to pass. From Mississippi State president Mark Keenum: “Clearly, the current national climate is such that this debate may produce unintended consequences for our student athletes here at Mississippi State University and those at the University of Mississippi. Since 2015, our Student Association, Robert Holland Faculty Senate and university administration have been firmly on record in support of changing the state flag. I have reiterated that view to our state’s leaders on multiple occasions, including during face-to-face discussions in recent days and hours.”On June 12, I wrote to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the Mississippi House reaffirming that support. The letter said, in part, that our flag should be unifying, not a symbol that divides us. I emphasized that it is time for a renewed, respectful debate on this issue.”I support President Keenum. At Mississippi State University I embrace the inclusion of all People and open dialogue on all issues. Hail State! https://t.co/iFCssa3EwF— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) June 19, 2020From Ole Miss chancellor Glenn Boyce and athletic director Keith Carter in a joint statement:”The University of Mississippi community concluded years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others. In 2016, the university stopped flying the state flag over our campus. Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities of our state that unite us, not those that still divide us.”We support the SEC’s position for changing the Mississippi State flag to an image that is more welcoming and inclusive for all people.”According to WAPT in Jackson, Miss., the legislature that would change the state’s flag is in danger of not making it past committee. State Sen. Derrick Simmons, who filed the resolution, did say he is hopeful the flag will eventually change.