Lionel Scaloni hopes Argentina can take confidence from their win over Qatar into their Copa America quarter-final against Venezuela.Goals from Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero helped Argentina beat Qatar to move into the last eight, where Venezuela await at the Maracana on Friday.Scaloni said that victory had given his side plenty of confidence as they eye the semi-finals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “We think we’re good because we came from a win that gave us a significant emotional boost,” he told a news conference.”It’s going to be a difficult game, but we are confident.”Argentina have dominated Venezuela at the Copa America, winning their five meetings and scoring 28 goals while conceding just three.But Scaloni said he expected his team to be challenged by a Venezuela side that were unbeaten in Group A.”Football has evolved,” he said. “Nowadays, every team has difficulty.”#SelecciónMayor ¡Última práctica!Con la mente puesta en @SeleVinotinto . #VamosArgentina pic.twitter.com/xyxJNhs293 — Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 27, 2019 Argentina have seen their share of struggles at the competition in Brazil. It started on matchday one when they were outclassed in a 2-0 loss against Colombia and spilled into the side’s second match when they were held to a 1-1 draw against Paraguay. That left the team in desperate need of a win against visitors Qatar just to reach the knockout rounds. Their opponent on Friday, Venezuela, have earned just one win over Bolivia so far, but played to a draw with Peru despite going down a man on matchday one and held hosts Brazil to a draw as well. Scaloni has yet to settle on a first-choice side, bringing both he and the players under pressure, but he encouraged his country to get behind the club earlier in the week rather than making the team feel as though they were going to war. “Sometimes, these guys go out to play a soccer game and they seem to go out and play a war. With the pressure on them sometimes it is difficult to play,” he said. “The message should be that while playing in the Copa America we are all on the same side.”
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 02: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on against the USC Trojans during the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Penn State has reloaded with young talent once again, and although 247Sports ranks its latest group of recruits as the No. 10 recruiting class, the Nittany Lions might actually have one of the top classes in all of the country.With Brandon Smith and Noah Cain leading the next group of Nittany Lions, the future is bright in Happy Valley. If Penn State is a firm believer in quality over quantity, then James Franklin and his coaching staff should be thrilled with their latest haul.The rankings might list other schools ahead of the Nittany Lions, but the average player ratings for each class actually bodes well for the prestigious program. Outside of Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, Penn State ranks above every other college when it comes to talent alone.Top 2019 recruiting classes by 247Sports composite average player rating:1. Alabama 94.042. Georgia 93.713. Ohio State 92.164. Penn State 92.125. Auburn 91.906. LSU 91.397. Oklahoma 91.138. Texas A&M 91.099. Oregon 90.9710. Texas 90.90— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) December 20, 2018Unlike other recruiting classes, Penn State doesn’t even have 20 commits as of now. For example, the Crimson Tide have 26 commits for the 2019 season, meanwhile the Nittany Lions have 18 incoming players.Headed into today, FSU, Ohio State, Auburn and Penn State are the only teams with top 15 2019 classes while having fewer than 20 commits.— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) December 21, 2018Numbers can be deceiving at times, and in this case it shows that Penn State’s recruiting class definitely has the necessary playmakers to keep the program running at an elite level.While the Nittany Lions will have to say goodbye to several seniors this season, a new core of impact players will take their place.
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 14: (AFP OUT) Members of the Clemson Tigers football team prepare to dine on fast food served by President Trump to celebrate their Championship at the White House on January 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)Clemson football’s White House trip following the program’s national championship drew a lot of attention, thanks to the unconventional spread provided by President Donald Trump.It was unclear why Clemson’s trip was rushed along and done during a government shutdown—the Tigers’ trip two years ago was in June—but they were greeted by a spread of fast food from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Domino’s.What was not really reported upon was the group of Tiger players that made the trip.Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was present, and drew the President’s attention. Trump said that he wanted to be the superstar freshman’s agent in a few years.Many of his most prominent teammates were not there, however, per a new report.The Root spoke to three anonymous Clemson football players who say that the vast majority of the roster’s black players did not make the trip.According to the players, who were standouts on the Tigers’ title team per the site, the President was the reason that many decided not to go. Those who did were largely younger players, or those whose roles on the team were less certain.From the report:The Root spoke with three black Clemson players who each separately confirmed that many players, both black and white, had no interest in making the trip. All three acknowledged that Donald Trump was the reason they chose not to attend. Even more telling, most of Clemson’s white players were in attendance while nearly three-fourths of the school’s black football players took a hard pass on the chance to eat cold fries with the president of people who eat salads from McDonald’s.“It wasn’t like we had a team meeting or anything,” said one of Clemson’s offensive stars who spoke with The Root on the condition of anonymity. “Players were talking amongst each other but everybody was like: ‘I’m not going to that.’”Another defensive standout noted that coaches didn’t pressure players to accompany the team to Washington, D.C., but said that almost every black player he knew didn’t want to take the trip. However, he noted that he knew that some players only attended because they worried that refusing to attend the traditional White House visit might affect their scholarships or playing time.“Not saying anything against the players who went,” the junior explained, “but if you look at who went—freshman and people fighting for playing time—you’ll see what I’m talking about.”The Root says that just 15 of the at least 57 black players on the Tigers roster attended the trip, 11 of whom were underclassmen.More revealing than that: only six of the black players in attendance were on the depth chart for the title game against Alabama.Clemson gave a statement to The Root, saying that 76 players made the trip, with a number of others missing due to “class obligations,” as well as those who had already graduated and were no longer on campus. One of the anonymous quoted players said that the decision to go was left up to the players, and that many of those who stayed behind had the option of missing class, but instead chose to stay behind.The three players did say that the program and school did not pressure players towards making the trip.[The Root]
CORONADO, CA – MAY 27: Tate Martell of Ohio State University attends Steve Clarkson’s 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat on May 27, 2017 in Coronado, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)This year’s spring game has finally arrived for the Miami Hurricanes, and it appears so has Tate Martell. Earlier this year, the former Ohio State quarterback decided to transfer after former five-star recruit Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes.Martell didn’t start his career with the Hurricanes on the right note. Last week, the reports coming out of Miami were that he struggled mightily in a scrimmage.Not only did the dual-threat quarterback go through growing pains, but N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams had better performances. As of right now, Martell is third on the depth chart for the Hurricanes.It’s still way too early for Manny Diaz to pick which quarterback will start this season. However, the clock is certainly ticking for Martell to make an impact.Fortunately for the Ohio State transfer, his first-half performance in the spring game is quite impressive.All signs from today point to Martell looking much more comfortable under center.Tate Martell look looking much better out of shotgun. N’Kosi Perry looking real good. Jarren Williams was just skipped in the qb rotation— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) April 20, 2019Tate Martell connects for an 80-yard touchdown with KJ Osborn.Transfer portal magic at the Miami spring game.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) April 20, 2019The spring game is taking place at Camping World Stadium, which will be the host of this year’s battle between the Hurricanes and the Florida Gators.Perhaps Martell will pass Williams on the depth chart for the backup spot, but it might take time for him to win the starting job.
ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 22: Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers throws a first half pass while playing the Michigan Wolverines on September 22, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Nebraska football hasn’t had the start to the season it was hoping for. With coach Scott Frost at the helm for his second year, expectations are high.But a disastrous Week 2 loss to Colorado wasn’t a part of the plan. Not mention the Buffaloes lost to Air Force the following week.Still, the Cornhuskers are 2-1 heading into conference play. All is not lost for Frost and his team. A road game versus Illinois on Saturday kicks off Nebraska’s Big Ten slate. A big win would go a long way before the Cornhuskers head back home for a pivotal game versus No. 6 Ohio State.Heading into the Nebraska-Illinois contest, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor has determined a projected outcome for the game. The Matchup Predictor gives the Cornhuskers a 74.1% chance to win. Certainly a high percentage. But it makes sense. Illinois suffered an embarrassing 34-31 loss to Eastern Michigan this past Saturday. The week prior, the Fighting Illini pulled off a close win over UConn — a game which shouldn’t have been close in the first place. It’s safe to say this won’t be a fun season for Illinois fans.Week Four. #GBR x #TheGoodLife pic.twitter.com/mk7j48a8Ay— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) September 16, 2019Nebraska, on the other hand, struggles with inconsistency. One week, the Cornhuskers look like a legitimate Big Ten contender. The next, they struggle against an inferior team. What will they look like on Saturday against Illinois?Nebraska and Illinois kicks off at 8 PM ET on Big Ten Network.