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USC prepares for NCAA championships

first_imgFinishing 29 strokes behind a conference rival doesn’t normally make for a successful tournament in college golf.But in a week that was all about surviving and advancing, the No. 10 USC men’s golf team was happy to do just that.The Trojans played solid but not spectacular golf on their way to a second place finish at the NCAA West Regional at the Gold Mountain Golf Complex in Bremerton, Wash., and earned a spot in next week’s NCAA championships.Young gun · Freshman T.J. Vogel tied with freshman Martin Trainer atop USC’s leaderboard after regionals with a three-round score of 219. – Courtesy USC Sports Information “This was a good week but not that fun,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “It was kind of stressful because the whole season basically comes down to that week. To play well under that kind of pressure shows a lot about these guys.”Pac-10 champions No. 3 Washington won the regional going away, with three of its players finishing in the top three overall. San Diego, No. 24 Oregon State and No. 12 Illinois also qualified for the next round out of the 13-team regional.The Trojans got off to a rough start, sitting three strokes out of the fifth and final qualifying spot after a nine over par first round.“We were a little frustrated that we played poorly,” freshman Sam Smith said. “But we knew there were 36 holes left so there was plenty of time to get back into position.”Smith, who just secured the fifth spot in the Trojans’ lineup with a strong performance at the Pac-10 championships, paced USC with strong opening rounds of 73-72.“We felt like Sam carried us the first two days,” Zambri said. “He’s playing the best golf of the year and I think he can even play better.”USC shot 1 over par as a team in the second round to jump up into a tie for third place. The Trojans saved their best for last, posting a 1 under par final round to clinch their fourth straight trip to the NCAA championships.“We realized that we had to come in the top five teams and didn’t necessarily have to go out and beat the field by 29 shots like Washington did,” junior Matt Giles said.The Trojans advanced without any of their players finishing in the top 20 of the towurnament individually. Instead, USC relied on consistent play by all five golfers, posting no rounds lower than 70 and only one higher than 75.Freshmen T.J. Vogel (74-75-70) and Martin Trainer (75-72-72) led the way for the Trojans, finishing in a tie for 21st at 3 over par.Smith posted a final round 75 to place in a tie for 24th at 4 over par.Freshmen grabbed the top three spots for a young USC team that doesn’t have a senior.“Arguably we have the best freshmen class in the country right now,” Smith said. “We’re showing why with three guys in the lineup each week and we’re steadily improving.”Giles (77-72-72) and sophomore Steve Lim (75-73-73) tied for 29th at 5 over par.“I putted really poorly the first day and then actually played okay after that,” Giles said.USC will be joined at the NCAA championships, which begin Tuesday at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn., by seven other Pac-10 squads.Zambri said the Trojans were helped by playing against some of the nation’s best teams throughout the season.“We just had our best finish of the year and it didn’t feel like we played great,” Zambri said. “Then it dawned on me that we played against really great teams all year. Better competition in the Pac-10 makes all these kids better.”last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo With that being said, here are all of the players that have played cornerback for the Cardinals alongside Patrick Peterson:Related LinksArizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson apologizes for requesting tradeCardinals CB Peterson excited to get back to press coverage2011The Cardinals opened up Peterson’s rookie season with second-year player A.J. Jefferson starting alongside him. Jefferson held this position for the first seven games of the season, recording 38 total tackles, 10 passes defended and one fumble recovery before having his starting spot taken by veteran Richard Marshall. Marshall started the final nine games of the season and tallied one interception, one sack and five passes defended during that span. Veteran Michael Adams also got a start in Week 13 of that season, and recorded four total tackles.2012Before the 2012 season, the Cardinals replaced Marshall with former Steelers CB William Gay, who held down a starting spot for all but one game that year. Gay was decent in his lone year in the desert, as he finished the season with two interceptions, three forced fumbles and six passes defended. The team also got two starts from a returning Greg Toler and three from rookie Jamell Fleming, but neither had much of an impact in those games.2013The 2013 season marked the first time during Peterson’s career that the Cardinals had a second cornerback start all 16 games, with Jerraud Powers being the one to do so in his first year with the team after four seasons with the Colts. Powers had an impressive debut season in Arizona, as he finished tied for eighth in the league with 17 passes defended to go along with 65 total tackles and one interception. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Since his debut for the Cardinals in 2011, Patrick Peterson has been without a doubt one of the best cornerbacks in all of football.The No. 5 overall pick from LSU in 2011 came into the league with a lot of hype, and he has managed to live up to it and then some. Peterson has started every single game since being drafted, and has made eight Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams in that span.The side opposite Peterson has not seen the same type of stability, however. While Peterson has been the model of consistency over the past eight seasons, the Cardinals’ second cornerback spot has been a revolving door of players with varying levels of effectiveness. After interception the ball against the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) celebrates with cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) 2014The Cardinals made a big splash at the cornerback position prior to the 2014 season, as they signed Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie to a one-year deal to pair with Peterson, who had already become one of the best defensive players in the league by then. Cromartie would go on to start every game that season and recorded three interceptions, 10 passes defended and one defensive touchdown, which was good enough to earn a third straight Pro Bowl berth. Powers also started 11 games that season, posting three interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble in those games.2015Cromartie departed after the 2014 season, which meant Powers reclaimed the second cornerback spot for 2015. A calf injury caused him to miss three games, but he was still able to record 52 total tackles, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception. The games that Powers missed were started by Justin Bethel, who had mainly been a Pro Bowl-caliber special teams player at the time. In his four starts, Bethel had five passes defended and 22 total tackles.2016Powers’ contract expired after the 2015 season, so the Cardinals traded for Marcus Cooper from the Chiefs to fill the role that Powers vacated. Cooper did a good job in his 13 starts too, finishing just outside the top 10 in interceptions with 4, one of which was returned for a touchdown, along with 11 passes defended and 69 total tackles. Bethel and rookie Brandon Williams also logged three starts apiece, with Williams opening the year in that role while Cooper got adjusted to his new team. Bethel in particular put up some good performances, which included a 66-yard pick six in the final game of the season. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 2017Cooper’s solid play earned him a nice free agent contract in the offseason, which meant the Cardinals again needed to find a running mate for Peterson. Bethel opened up the season with the starting job and started out strong with an 82-yard pick six in Week 1. He lasted seven games in that spot, eventually conceding the role to longtime Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, who they signed away from the Browns before the season started. Williams started nine games after taking over and filled in well enough, posting two interceptions and 12 passes defended.2018Last season was a frustrating one for the Cardinals in many different ways, and the second cornerback spot was no different, as the team could not find a long-term answer there. New acquisition Jamar Taylor started the year there, but struggled and was later supplanted and cut. Bene Benwikere took over for Taylor in Week 4, but eventually met the same fate that Taylor did after eight starts. Finally, late-season pickup David Amerson started the season’s final five games, picking up an interception and two passes defended in that span. 2 Comments   Share   last_img read more