Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson stirred up some mild controversy last week when he declared that he — not Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won this year’s Heisman Trophy — was the best player in all of college football.“I’m the best player in the country,” Watson told reporters on Dec. 19. “That’s how I think. That’s how I feel. You know, people have their own way of voting.”Although Watson won his second straight Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding QB this season, he ended up second behind Jackson in the Heisman voting. And the O’Brien-Heisman split — “best quarterback” vs. “best player” — is pretty much the heart of Watson’s rivalry with Jackson.In the traditional sense of the QB role, Watson was probably a better pure passer than Jackson this season. Watson threw for 524 more yards, had a higher passing efficiency rating (according to the NCAA’s formula) and contributed many more expected points added (EPA) in the air than Jackson did. More to the point, Watson had a vastly superior completion percentage (68 percent to 58 percent), threw fewer of his passes off-target (11 percent vs. 15 percent), and was notably better in the short-to-intermediate passing game. He beat Jackson in Total QBR (81.2 to 76.9) on passes that traveled 15 or fewer yards through the air — plays that accounted for about three-quarters of each QB’s total attempts — and a higher percentage of Watson’s passing yards also came after his receivers caught the ball, a healthy indicator in the type of quick-passing game Clemson employs.As a result of all that controlled passing, Clemson’s aerial attack was more efficient than Louisville’s this year. The Tigers ranked fifth among Power Five conference teams in passing EPA, piling up about 40 percent more expected points per game via the pass than the 12th-ranked Cardinals.Still, Jackson made up the difference as an all-around QB. He generated nearly 70 more yards of total offense per game than Watson, thanks in large part to his mobility — Jackson rushed for an incredible 1,538 yards, the most of any Heisman-winning quarterback ever (as well as the second-most by a 3,000-yard passer).1That is, since at least 2000, which is as far back as Sports-Reference.com’s Play Index can search — but also probably even earlier, since I couldn’t find a season in their earlier data that even came close to matching Jackson’s 2016 output. Watson’s no slouch as a runner — he gained 524 yards on the ground, which ranked 15th among qualified FBS QBs — but Jackson probably had the best dual-threat season in college history. When we factor in Jackson’s huge workload in the running game, he had a slightly better Total QBR than Watson on the season, and he generated about 31 percent more total EPA per game than Watson did.Jackson even had Watson beat in a couple of important passing categories. First, Jackson threw 24 percent fewer interceptions per attempt than Watson did. (Despite his accuracy, Watson has had a problem with picks all year — though his overall game is still so good that it’s hard to say even the picks are a real problem.) And although Watson had the superior overall passing numbers, Jackson had a better year throwing the ball deep. Not only did he do it more — 14 percent of Jackson’s throws traveled at least 25 yards in the air, versus 9 percent for Watson — but he also had a better QBR (77.8 to 71.1) on those long tosses. Watson was more surgical in his deep strikes, with a sterling 8-0 TD-INT ratio on throws of 25 or more yards (Jackson’s mark was a more pedestrian 9-6), but he also spent a significant amount of his time setting up bubble screens with passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. Twenty-seven percent of Watson’s passes were for zero or fewer air yards, compared with 17 percent for Jackson.All told, many of the differences between Jackson and Watson simply come down to the trade-offs a QB makes playing in different offenses. While both teams call their share of zone-read plays, Louisville’s offense asks Jackson to keep the ball and run with it more than Clemson’s does of Watson. (There’s also a school of thought that says this was by design, and that Watson will be unleashed as a runner in the College Football Playoff, so stay tuned.) The Cardinals are a more run-oriented team than the Tigers anyway, and that allows them to exploit defenses for more big plays down the field when Jackson does throw. Clemson, meanwhile, is more set up to control the field through short passing and the selective use of Watson’s running and deep-throwing skills.The big takeaway, then, is that although the two quarterbacks played pretty different styles this season, they both arrived at a similar place in terms of overall production. So the question of who is the nation’s true best player might just boil down to preference: Do you like running QBs who throw a bunch of deep bombs, or do you prefer more pocket-oriented accurate passers who can also run when necessary?If I were starting a team, I’d flip a coin.
Twenty seconds remained in the 2006 Rose Bowl. A fourth-and-5 was all that stood between Texas and a national championship; between Vince Young and college football immortality.A few seconds later, Keith Jackson said, “He’s going for the corner, he’s got it.”Vince Young disappeared into an assembly of media and photographers with the same confidence he possessed when he showed up on the Rose Bowl stage 368 days earlier. Longhorn fans relished a national title celebration. Young relished the knowledge that he would go down as one of the biggest heroes in Rose Bowl history.Two-time defending national champion USC scrambled to win its third title, but Vince Young’s 9-yard touchdown run and almost unheard-of individual performance had already shattered that dream. On Saturday, when the oldest member of the Buckeyes, Devin Barclay, kicked OSU into the “Granddaddy of Them All,” it was only a matter of time before someone pointed out this fact: Vince Young played in the Rose Bowl his sophomore season, too.Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has often been compared to Vince Young since the Longhorn’s dominating performances in the Rose Bowl in ‘05 and ‘06, will be a sophomore, as well.The comparisons have come from everywhere, including Pryor’s former high school coach Ray Reitz and Young’s college coach Mack Brown.“Before he leaves Ohio State, he’ll lead them to a national championship,” Brown said earlier this season of Pryor. “He’s that kind of player.”Brown saw Young up close for four seasons at Texas. After redshirting his first year, Young split time as a redshirt freshman before starting as a sophomore and junior.His blend of size, speed and athleticism had never been seen at the quarterback position. And for the most part, it hasn’t been seen since — until Pryor.Although both Young and Pryor managed to lead their teams to a Rose Bowl in their sophomore seasons, struggles didn’t go unnoticed.Against Purdue several weeks ago, Pryor committed a career-high four turnovers in the Buckeyes’ shocking loss. His lackluster effort against USC earlier in the season also gave doubters reason to grumble.Young faced similar hardships in his sophomore season. Against rival Oklahoma, the quarterback was eight of 23 for 86 yards, and his Longhorns were shut out for the first time since 1980. Young’s critics were in full force after a 12-0 loss.His season stats, like Pryor’s, weren’t gaudy. Young threw one less interception than touchdowns on the season and also did his fair share of scoring with his legs.The shutout loss, however, would be the last of Young’s college career, and he would still manage to get his one-loss Texas team into the Rose Bowl against Big Ten champion Michigan.His first of two Rose Bowl appearances would mark the beginning of the end of one of the most brilliant college football careers in recent history.On the grandest stage of all, Young did not disappoint. The Wolverines had a star-studded defense, but nothing stopped Young when the bright lights of California shined their brightest.Young brought his Longhorns back from a 10-point deficit in the second half. He had touchdown runs of 20, 60, 10 and 23 yards and ran for a total of 192 yards total on the day. Young was equally efficient at passing, throwing a touchdown, and completing 16 of 28 for yards.When the Longhorns won on a last-second field goal, Vince Young had officially broken onto the national scene, making his name known as one of the best quarterbacks in college football.The following season would be even better for the junior quarterback. Leading his team to an undefeated season and a berth in the Rose Bowl for the national championship, Young’s stats sent him to New York, where he finished runner-up to Reggie Bush for the Heisman Trophy.In the national championship game against USC and its two Heisman winners, Bush and Matt Leinart, Young again put on a display of how to will his team to victory.With the world watching, Young ran all over the Rose Bowl, leaving USC defenders with nothing to tackle but air. Running for three touchdowns and 200 yards, Young led Texas back from a 12-point deficit to a 41-38 win.Young’s arm was also on display, going 30 of 40 for 267 yards. His combined 467 yards of offense is a Rose Bowl performance that might never be matched.But Pryor will get his chance to live up to the Rose Bowl legend of Vince Young; at least, his legend as a sophomore, when he led his team to a Rose Bowl victory. As for the legend of Young’s junior season, when he led his team to a national title, Pryor will have to wait to claim it next year.
Ohio State defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis is honored on the field for Senior Day. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis was selected as the No. 64 overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.A three-year starter for the Buckeyes, Lewis played in 55 games, playing in as many games as any Ohio State player in history. Lewis combined to rack up double-digit tackles for loss in both his final two season and accumulated 23.5 sacks during his college career. In 2016, Lewis was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, recording 10.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Lewis continued that success into his final season in Columbus, this time as a captain. He repeated as a first-team All-Big Ten lineman, recording 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Lewis recorded 122 inches on his broad jump and had a 35.5-inch vertical. Lewis did not participate in the 40-yard dash or bench press at the NFL combine due to the flu, but he worked out at Ohio State’s pro day.The Colts ended last season with 25 sacks, the second-fewest in the NFL. On the ground, they gave up 120.4 rushing yards per game, the seventh most in the league.Lewis and the Colts will open up the 2018 season on Sept. 9 with a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sean Dyche is delighted with Burnley’s resurgence as they secured two wins in a row with a 2-1 triumph at Cardiff on Sunday.Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Sam Vokes were the scorers for Dyche’s men as they recorded consecutive top-flight wins for the Clarets for the first time since April.That win means Burnley are currently up to 12th in the table after a difficult start to the season.“We didn’t look anywhere near how we played last weekend and I reminded the players of that at half-time,” Dyche told Sky Sports.“But that comes with mentality, you have to build mentality. This is a really tough division, we’ve had our fair share of knocks at the beginning of this season, particularly with the overflow of games.“So to come out of that with the mentality we’ve shown with a very good performance last weekend and a fighting performance today was good.Match Preview: Burnley vs Liverpool Boro Tanchev – August 30, 2019 Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Burnley for the Matchday 4 of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.“We know that’s the mix we have had to find in the Premier League and we are going to continue to find that.”Cardiff, still seeking their first win back in the Premier League, made things difficult for Burnley in the first half.Dyche added: “It was very difficult coming here, we knew it would be – they put the ball in the box from literally everywhere.“They knocked us completely out of our rhythm in the first half – we couldn’t get a grip of the ball or didn’t deal with it well enough.“We were looking for the balance and, credit to Cardiff, we couldn’t in the first half. They were effective and we couldn’t get a foothold in the game.“As the game calmed in the second half – I had a word at half-time – I was pleased with the reaction. We scored two good goals for different reasons.”
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, August 17, 2017 – Atlanta – The Atlanta Jamaican Association (AJA) has awarded 13 academic scholarships to students pursuing tertiary studies in Jamaica and Atlanta, Georgia. The presentations were made at the AJA’s annual Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards ceremony held on August 12 at the Sheraton Hotel, downtown Atlanta.Of the recipients, five are Jamaican students. They are Cadell Green and Joy-Ann Mason, who attend the University of Technology (UTech); University of the West Indies (UWI) students, Tiffany Mason and Dominique Spence; and Janiqua Thelwell, who is studying early-childhood education at The Mico University College.The other eight scholarship awardees are Ghiselle Brown, Georgia State University; Stone Crews, University of Georgia; Jazz Duncan and Keyanna Ennis, Emory University; Peter Gai Groves, Florida State University; Brianna Ramsey, Mercy University; Natahlia Robinson, Kennesaw University; and Sierra Hart, Washington University.In her address, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, lauded the AJA for providing scholarships to deserving students in Jamaica and Atlanta over the past 22 years.“It is very commendable that after starting out with just two scholarships in the early days of the association, tonight, 13 students will be the beneficiaries of scholarships from your organisation,” she said.The Ambassador noted that the awards have assisted tremendously to advance the educational development of the recipients, some of whom will undoubtedly be among the next generation of leaders. Ambassador Marks also lauded the work of the AJA, which is celebrating 40 years of service this year.President of the AJA, Alan Stewart, in his remarks said the association is pleased to assist in furthering the education of these worthy students. “Our way of giving back to our country is to provide these scholarships to college-bound students, both here in Atlanta and in Jamaica,” he said.Mr. Stewart informed that the scholarship programme was established in 1995 to assist graduating high-school seniors of Jamaican heritage in Atlanta, as well as students in Jamaica, to continue their education. He said that to date, the organisation has provided more than US$100,000 to students in Jamaica and in the Metro Atlanta area as well as individual awards of US$25,000 to students facing financial hardship.Mr. Stewart said next year, the association plans to provide funding for full scholarships. Applications for the scholarships are posted on the AJA website at atlantajamaicanassociation.org.During the function, lifetime membership awards were presented to Joy Booth and Alvin Thomas for giving more than 25 years of service to the AJA, while founding membership awards went to Dr. Juan Reid, Neville Barrett, Dr. Noel Erskine and Glenda Erskine.