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State of the Sooners: CFP Semifinal vs. Alabama

State of the Sooners: CFP Semifinal vs. Alabama

Outside of that, there are three players in the defensive backfield that are still healing up. The good news is, once Lincoln Riley got off the plane in Miami, he told media members that everyone on the team made the trip. I won’t be out doing any of that mess…We’re down here to win this football game.” This is a business trip. While very few people are giving the Sooners a chance, we all know what happened last time they played an Alabama team that was supposed to dominate. This Alabama Crimson Tide team is loaded, and it features one of the best offenses in program history. He will be the best defensive lineman this Oklahoma offensive line has faced all year. Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson will have their eyes on Kyler Murray and the OU running backs all night, and they will certainly be up for the challenge. In the back end, Deionte Thompson is the name to know. Oklahoma’s offense will have to be as good as it’s been all year, and then some. At the end of it all, if Oklahoma’s defense is up for the challenge, the Sooners and Crimson Tide will be must-see TV.
One day before New Year’s Eve, Utah will implement the strictest DUI law in the country

One day before New Year’s Eve, Utah will implement the strictest DUI law in the country

Starting Sunday, the state will lower its blood alcohol content limit to 0.05, the strictest DUI standard in the nation. All other states continue to hold a 0.08 limit for noncommercial drivers over the age of 21, a level the National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing to lower for years. She said close to 100 countries with such a law experience a lower rate of alcohol-related deaths, even though their citizens drink as much alcohol per capita as Americans. In 2016, the latest year for which that agency has available data, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes -- making up 28% of all motor vehicle fatalities. In a statement earlier this year, American Beverage Institute Managing Director Sarah Longwell opposed the legislation, adding that a 0.05 blood alcohol content does not leave drivers "meaningfully impaired." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate a level of 0.05% is equal to about three alcoholic drinks for an average-size man. At those levels, the CDC says, drivers usually experience reduced coordination, difficulty steering, reduced ability to track moving objects and a slower response to emergency driving situations. The NTSB's Dinh-Zarr said the new Utah law likely will make people think carefully about driving while impaired. "This is a broad deterrent, it stops all people from all levels of drinking from getting behind the wheel," she said. Those who are concerned about drunken drivers should be the loudest supporters of similar legislation across the country, Dinh-Zarr added.
OU football: Tre Brown’s safety, defense help Oklahoma clinch Big 12 championship

OU football: Tre Brown’s safety, defense help Oklahoma clinch Big 12 championship

“It was between me and the safety,” Brown said of the play, a defensive audible. I’m feeling it right now.’ “So he let me go.” And Brown went. “Absolutely not,” Ehlinger said, asked if he saw the blitz coming. The Sooner defense outscored the Longhorn offense in the fourth quarter, 2-0. “I feel like we made a statement in a big game after all the stuff … You know, we don’t listen to the outside noise. He guesses he’s only blitzed 3-4 times this season. “When he gets within 3 yards of anyone, we’ve got a good shot of a positive play happening.” OU held Texas to 437 yards of offense, the defense’s lowest output since Oct. 20 and just the third time in nine games the Sooners have yielded fewer than 450 yards. The Sooners settled for another field goal in the second quarter and Texas took a 14-6 lead deep into the second quarter, until Kyler Murray found CeeDee Lamb in the back of the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown with 5:01 until half. The Sooners never mastered the art of covering Texas’ big receivers — Colin Johnson set a Big 12 championship game record with 177 yards receiving, including a 27-yard TD that brought the Longhorns within 27-21 with 8:47 in the third quarter — but the defense did what it does best. For us, for them to come up and make that big play at that time of need, that’s the most valuable play for me.”
Paul George out for Thunder vs. Suns with Quad Injury Suffered vs. Rockets

Paul George out for Thunder vs. Suns with Quad Injury Suffered vs. Rockets

Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George suffered a quad injury that will keep him out of action for at least one game. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan announced George won't play on Friday against the Phoenix Suns because of a contusion on his right quad, per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The injury occurred during Oklahoma City's 113-109 loss to the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day. George shocked a number of NBA fans and writers when he agreed to a four-year, $137 million extension with the Thunder shortly after free agency began this past summer. George didn't necessarily have a poor 2017-18 season in Oklahoma City—averaging 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists—but he got no closer to winning an NBA title. The Utah Jazz knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs in the first round. The Thunder have been terrific with George playing an even bigger role next to Russell Westbrook this season. Their 21-12 record entering Friday ranks third in the Western Conference and puts them half a game behind the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors for the top spot. Losing the five-time All-Star for any period of time would be a big blow for the Thunder. Although Oklahoma City still has Westbrook, the team can't afford to be without George for long if it wants to remain among the Western Conference elites.
Week 17 Fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em

Week 17 Fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em

He runs 67% of his routes from the slot, and the Jets rank worst in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing slot wide receivers. Through 11 games, Conner has played on 81%of the snaps while averaging 22.3 fantasy points per game. Across Samuel’s three starts, he’s played on 71% of the snaps while averaging 16.9 fantasy points per game. Over this span, he averages 15.3 expected fantasy points per game and 17.3 actual fantasy points per game. Sit Since returning from injury in Week 6, Mack averages 25.2 fantasy points per game in blowouts (victories by two or more scores). In 10 shadow games this year, Rhodes has given up more than 50 yards into his coverage just once. Over the last three weeks, he’s played on 78% of the snaps while averaging 16.5 expected (ninth-most) and 19.0 actual fantasy points per game (11th).” This week he gets a New England defense ranking third-worst in yards allowed per carry (4.88) and 10th-worst in receiving fantasy points per game allowed to enemy running backs. Sutton scored 18.5 fantasy points in Week 16, but it was also just his second game with at least 11.0 fantasy points all year. For the second-straight year, Hayward ranks top-10 in fantasy points allowed per route in coverage. Kumerow saw three targets last week, catching all of them for 68 yards and a score.
Amari’s struggles, Dak’s plans, what fans should know about the Giants, and more — Your Cowboys Catch-Up

Amari’s struggles, Dak’s plans, what fans should know about the Giants, and more — Your Cowboys Catch-Up

Next game Dallas at New York Giants -- Noon Sunday, Dec. 30 -- FOX. Today's top stories -- Amari Cooper's impact on the Cowboys can't be overstated ...but setting a bar as high as he has in the past two months was bound to come with some lows. -- Dak Prescott explains his Week 17 approach against the Giants Prescott plans to play every snap against the Giants, but concedes he hasn't been consulted and "my thoughts don't matter in that case.'' He hasn't played since. ...including, why the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year may reside in New York. -- Listing the reasons why the Dallas Cowboys should sit Ezekiel Elliott in Week 17, period. Q: Do you think Dez [Bryant] could ever make it as a tight end? Kristi Scales: He would be a good mismatch in the red zone wherever he lines up, but at this point in his career, it would be very, very difficult to change positions. With the holidays in full effect, chats will take a break the rest of the week! That's all for today!
RJ: As Golding interest cools down, Grinch interest heats up

RJ: As Golding interest cools down, Grinch interest heats up

Ask Alabama co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding if he's been contacted by Oklahoma. Go ahead. “I have not,” Golding said. I don't blame him, and neither should you. While Golding said he hasn't been contacted by Oklahoma, OUInsider has reported there have been conversations about his potentially becoming the next defensive coordinator at OU. That's as clear a message as you can get that he's serious about staying in Tuscaloosa for the long haul. Then there's Football Scoop's report: "When we first wrote about [Lincoln] Riley’s defensive coordinator search earlier this month, the focus was centered on two candidates in Alabama co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. And there Golding is. He's got a really great gig working under one of the best head coaches—in any sport, at any level—of his generation in Tide coach Nick Saban. "You know, I’m working for the best guy to ever do it," he said, "so it’s something that I’m very excited about.
Winter forecast: Snow expected to follow the ho ho ho, starting in West and blanketing Midwest

Winter forecast: Snow expected to follow the ho ho ho, starting in West and blanketing Midwest

The disruptions will be due to Winter Storm Eboni, according to the Weather Channel. Jeff Colyer declared a "state of disaster emergency" that he said was in response to the storm will would hit parts of western Kansas. “There is the potential for major travel disruptions with this storm,” said AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido. As of Wednesday afternoon, however, no major delays were reported, although some travelers were looking for earlier flights. "Heavy, wind-swept snow" will also hit from eastern Colorado to North Dakota, central and northern Minnesota and east toward Michigan's Upper Peninsula, said Accuweather. The Weather Channel said the snowstorm will work its way through the upper Midwest and northern New England through Friday. "The heaviest snow is expected south and east of Denver, but a coating to an inch of snow late Wednesday may lead to deicing operations and delays on Thursday morning," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. Areas from the northern Oklahoma Panhandle to western Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan could experience snow or rain and snow, Live Storm Chasers said. Veronica Frazier of Mitchell, South Dakota said on Twitter that she was bracing for the heavy snow with wind that is expected to start Wednesday night and last all day Thursday into Friday. “A swath of wintry mix, including ice, is likely to develop between the Plain rain and snow areas of the Central states,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

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