Oklahoma middle linebacker Lance Mitchell is ready for some football. \nEnough of the spread offense and all its trickery. Enough of the finesse running game. Bring on Cedric Benson and the nation's best running attack. \nIt's time for down and dirty. Texas vs. Oklahoma. \n"You always look forward to games like this," Mitchell said. "You've got to love it. Texas is pretty basic, hat on hat. You've just got to make tackles. There's not too much thinking about it. You just go out and play ball." \nAmen, said nickel back Brandon Shelby. \n"This is why you come to a school like Oklahoma," he said. "Four quarters of pure hitting, a lot of fun, and who is going to stay with that competitive edge for the whole 60 minutes is usually the winner." \nThe question of the wek is not about intensity, preparation or anticipation. It is about whether the Sooners' defense is solid enough in the middle without dismissed anchor Dusty Dvoracek at tackle to successfully go head-to-head with what is probably the Longhorns' most physical offense in recent years. \nOU coach Bob Stoops says he feels "great" about the situation at tackle. Co-defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who tutors the front seven, seems less emphatic. \n"I think [defensive tackle] is still an area of concern," Venables said. "The numbers, the quality, the lack of experience. All of the above. \n"Texas has as good an offensive line as they've had since 1998 when they had Ricky Williams, and they're playing at that level. That's the biggest difference in them that you notice. They're going to challenge [the tackles], and you will find out what you've got by the end of that game. That's for sure." \nStarters Lynn McGruder and Carl Pendleton have, for the most part, been solid. Stoops complimented both for their play Saturday against Texas Tech and their part in holding running back Taurean Henderson to 65 yards on 17 carries with a long run of only 14 yards, one week after he posted a career-high 169 yards against Kansas. \nBackups Remi Ayodele and Steven Coleman probably played more early against Tech than atanytime this season, and got extensive practice reps during the preceding off week. \nBut while expressing concern over the yet-unproven depth in the interior, Venables nevertheless expressed confidence in his unit's ability to play the run. \n"We feel strong about it," he said. "We feel good about the guys we've got lining up." \nNo doubt the presence of Mitchell in the middle along with a solid crew of linebackers and the secondary's historyof strong run support enables Venables to have that attitude. \n"They have proven their ability to play in tough situations," he said. \nStoops pointed out Oklahoma has played three spread offenses and a pro-style attack [Oregon], but lining up against a strong running attack isn't exactly a new experience for a veteran defensive unit. \n"One thing everyone always forgets," Stoops said. "We compete against our own team very day during the spring and two-a-days -- good against good. We run the ball pretty well. We see all those kinds of plays, the power, the attitude [running] plays. \n"In the past, we've been able to play all kinds of styles of defense. It's not something we all of the sudden work on this week. And you don't stop the run with just the front seven. The secondary is always involved. It's everybody."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions