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Joe Schmidt: Johnny Sexton can cope with France’s physicality

first_img France have vowed to strong-arm Sexton all week in the build-up to Sunday’s Pool D decider at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Ireland boss Schmidt backed Sexton to shrug off the niggly French rhetoric, after confirming Jared Payne was omitted due to a mixture of lingering foot trouble and Keith Earls’ fine form. Press Association Johnny Sexton can withstand France’s merciless all-out assault and will not be bullied into mistakes in Sunday’s vital World Cup battle, according to Joe Schmidt. Munster flyer Earls will start at outside centre and square up directly to France’s juggernaut centre Mathieu Bastareaud, but Schmidt believes his midfield men can cope with the pressure. “The last time we played France the first ball they got they came straight down Johnny’s channel and made the same sort of noises what they were going to do then,” said Ireland head coach Schmidt. “I haven’t really seen too much of what has been said this week, but we’ve got to concentrate on our own battle. “We are pretty well aware of who was going to be in their team. “I do know one thing though: Jonathan Sexton will not be found wanting for courage. “He won’t step out of the way, he will put himself in harm’s way. “He is a big, strong lad and I think that gives us confidence that if they do go down that channel, Johnny will be ready for them. “And the guys coming off the back of the scrum and lineout will connect with him. “Robbie Henshaw topped our tackle count last week with 16 out of 16 tackles. “Within the group they are looking forward to the challenge and they know it will be one heck of a challenge.” Munster’s in-form flyer Earls slots in at outside centre with Payne unable to start despite Ireland having expected him to beat his heavily-bruised foot at the start of the week. Schmidt insisted it was not worth risking Payne to face France, with Ireland already assured of a quarter-final next weekend. Win and top the pool and Ireland will face Argentina rather than the All Blacks in the last eight. Lock Devin Toner has been restored to the starting line-up with Ulster powerhouse Iain Henderson dropping to the bench, primed to counter France’s heavy-hitting replacements in the closing stages. “It’s a mix of the two,” said Schmidt, when asked if Payne was left out owing to fitness or form. “We felt that Keith played pretty well last week amongst a pretty flat effort. “And he played exceptionally last time he was at the Millennium Stadium in the centre. “Jared got through training completely on Wednesday but we do think if we put him back in on Sunday it would aggravate the foot. “We just felt it was pertinent to leave Jared for another week. “Whichever game it is next week we want to try to ensure we have a fully-fit squad to pick from.” Ireland have beaten France twice in succession en route to back-to-back Six Nations triumphs, Sexton taking a battering from Toulon centre Bastareaud on both occasions. Former Racing Metro playmaker Sexton was returning after a three-month concussion lay-off when Ireland edged out France 18-11 in Dublin in this year’s Six Nations, fearlessly standing up in a string of big hits against Bastareaud. Earls is not famed for his dominant tackling, but Schmidt still backed the 28-year-old to cope amid the ferocious defensive challenge. “More often than not he’ll be marking up Wesley Fofana and he’s a speed, agility and power man,” said Schmidt. “We don’t have someone who is the same size as Mathieu Bastareaud anyway. “I’ve got massive respect for what he brings to their team. “We’ve long struggled to contain him. “One thing I know both the centres have is pretty much limitless courage. “They will put themselves in the way of Bastareaud or anyone coming down that channel.” last_img read more

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Gov. DeSantis Touts Broward Testing Site, as State Receives Kits, Swabs

first_imgFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at the Broward County Mobile Testing Site at CB Smith Park Thursday afternoon.He said Florida currently has 390 positive cases of coronavirus, with 29 in Palm Beach County, 98 in Broward County, and 86 in Miami-Dade County. That makes South Florida the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.DeSantis added that 2,500 test kits and 4,000 collection swabs have been distributed throughout the state“We’re living through the biggest crunch in supply and demands for medical supplies that we’ve ever seen in his country,” the governor explained.The mobile testing site at CB Smith Park is being operated by the National Guard and should be able to conduct several hundred tests each day, according to DeSantis. The samples taken there will be shipped to a private lab, where they will be refrigerated before being tested. The site is drive-thru only, and will not accept pedestrians or bikers.The governor says the process takes roughly eight minutes per vehicle, and testing will focus on healthcare workers and people ages 65 and over who are symptomatic.Testing samples were initially sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), resulting in a week-long wait for people to receive their results. According to DeSantis, the Broward testing model will be replicated throughout the state if it proves successful.Drive-Thru Testing Sites Set to Open This Week in Broward Countylast_img read more

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USC sees rise in parking permit forgery

first_imgParking spots — always elusive in Los Angeles — are a prized commodity on USC’s campus, and many students have been attempting to grab a spot by whatever means necessary.This spring and summer have seen a rash of students forging or altering the monthly parking permits that allow access to parking structures on campus. According to DPS Capt. David Carlisle, there have been 18 reports of falsified parking permits since April, with six so far this month.“It’s a common report,” Carlisle said. “Students try and create a fake parking permit or alter an existing permit, trying to make accurate copies of the permit in order to avoid the monthly parking fee.”Carlisle said USC Transportation, which patrols the parking lots around campus regularly, has a simple system to catch altered permits. All USC-issued parking permits have corresponding barcodes, which transportation officials can scan to determine their veracity.If a student’s permit is found to be false or tampered with, USC Transportation immobilizes the car by placing a boot on it, which can only be removed when the owner pays existing parking fees and fines for the fake permit — USC Transportation’s website lists fines as anywhere between $100 and $1,000.Students whose cars have been booted are also referred to Judicial Affairs for further action.Carlisle said the influx in permit modifications could be a combination of more forgeries and stricter  enforcement on the part of transportation officers.last_img read more

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Provost sends follow-up memo on free speech

first_imgIn a follow-up memo sent out on Friday that addressed USC and law enforcement’s investigation of allegations against a USC graduate student, Provost Michael Quick announced on Sunday that the student will not be on campus during the investigation. Quick acknowledged USC’s commitment to free speech, but he emphasized that the University does not tolerate threatening behavior or any act that would jeopardize campus safety. Quick wrote that even if the investigation concludes that the allegation is free and protected speech, it has had a negative impact. “Hate speech, by nature, is dehumanizing, degrading, toxic, and vile, and it leaves people feeling unsafe, unheard, afraid, and anxious,” Quick wrote. “I want to reassure you that we are constantly and rigorously managing, assessing, and mitigating threat.”According to the memo, members of the USC community have shared their concerns with Quick not that the allegations affect the academic and business processes of the University and its emotional climate. Quick emphasized the University’s focus on student safety and security. He wrote that in the past year, USC’s Chief Threat Assessment Officer and threat assessment team have worked with the USC Department of Public Safety and consulted the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Management Unit to develop new threat assessment resources and protocols. Quick encouraged anyone who witnesses incidents of hate speech or other issues of discrimination on USC campuses to report them.Last Friday, Quick sent out a memo informing the USC community that the Department of Public Safety and USC’s chief threat assessment officer are working with local and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the community. Quick wrote that the University is still grappling to properly balance free speech and public safety, along with issues of diversity and inclusion. In the memo, he said USC and other American universities are working to distinguish hate speech from hate crime, and balancing the principles of free speech with campus safety. He added that USC is reaching out to leaders in the Academic Senate, Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Government and Undergraduate Student Government to address this.He acknowledged the negative effects of hate speech on campus and encouraged the University community to turn to on-campus resources, including confidential counseling and pastoral resources. Quick wrote that, as provost, he has pushed the USC community to find solutions to issues of bias and discrimination to create a more inclusive environment for everyone. “Bias and discrimination are ‘wicked problems’ that negatively impact us as a diverse community of scholars, artists, and athletes,” Quick wrote. “But free speech also empowers us as a university to be an extraordinary incubator that translates our research into action and policy, so that we can proactively be part of a solution to the many crises we face today.”last_img read more

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USC must be wary of Cougars

first_imgUSC opens its Pac-10 season Saturday at Washington State, not exactly the most anticipated of conference openers.Still, USC coach Lane Kiffin said these are the kind of games coaches have to be most wary of, especially at USC.Focused · Coach Lane Kiffin said that playing Washington State is the kind of game he worries about because it’s not on national television. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan “I’ve always thought with coaching here, one of your hardest things to do is get your team motivated when it’s not the national game of the week,” Kiffin said.USC is used to playing in front of a national television audience but has sometimes struggled against lesser opponents in games without much hype.“These guys have been so programmed to be in so many of those [big] games that these are the games you worry about,” Kiffin said.The Cougars are 1-2 this season, their sole win coming in a narrow 23-22 victory over Montana State. Still, despite their underwhelming résumé, Kiffin said there are a few Cougars playing good football.Jeff Tuel leads Washington State at quarterback with an efficiency rating of 135.5 and running back James Montgomery has averaged 4.5 yards per carry.“Their quarterback is playing a lot better than people would assume by maybe their record,” Kiffin said.No matter who the Trojans are playing Saturday, one USC coach was clearly excited.“All I know is it’s the Pac-10 opener,” defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “First Pac-10 opener for me. I’m pretty doggone excited. I hope the team is.”—Kiffin has not revealed who will start at running back Saturday. Redshirt junior Marc Tyler has started every game this season, but senior Allen Bradford opened up the competition again after his 131 yards and 12 carries against Minnesota.Tyler was limited at practice Wednesday, but Bradford wasn’t expecting any changes.“I’m not anticipating on starting,” Bradford said. “I’m just … preparing as if I’m the No. 1 back. If it happens, it happens.”Kiffin has been rotating Tyler, Bradford and freshman Dillon Baxter with the first team this week.Tyler remains No. 1 on the depth chart, but Kiffin said Tuesday that Bradford’s performance made the competition a lot closer.There was a question as to whether freshman cornerback Nickell Robey’s spot at corner was also in jeopardy.The Trojans have freshman safety Patrick Hall, who was suspended by Kiffin for the first three games of the season and will be available for the first time against the Cougars. Kiffin also said freshman cornerback Demetrius Wright will get playing time regardless of the score.But Kiffin maintained that the competition had not necessarily been reopened, and the coaches would continue to evaluate the position.Robey was beat on a touchdown against Minnesota, but said he easily moved on from the play.“You just gotta keep your head up and just have a short memory,” Robey said.Kiffin said he was not concerned about Robey’s mind set.“Nickell’s very confident right now,” he said.—Ball security was the major emphasis of practice and the stakes were high: Milkshakes were on the line.On the final play of the 11-on-11 team portion of practice, senior quarterback Mitch Mustain’s pass was deflected, then intercepted by junior cornerback T.J. Bryant, causing the defense to erupt in excitement.The deal was that if the defense created a turnover, secondary coach Willie Mack Garza had to buy milkshakes for them.“It was good to see the defense keep fighting for the ball,” Kiffin said.—Along with Tyler, junior defensive tackle Armond Armstead and redshirt sophomore defensive end Nick Perry were limited Wednesday, as they have been for the last few weeks.Redshirt senior linebacker Michael Morgan and junior tight end Blake Ayles were also limited.last_img read more

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Record: 15 Indian boxers reach final for gold at South Asian Games

first_img LIVE TV Written By Suman Ray SUBSCRIBE TO US 2018 CWG gold-medallist Vikas Krishan and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pinki Rani put up a brilliant display as they led seven more Indian boxers into the finals at the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu on Sunday. While Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg) and Narender (+91kg) were the others to reach the summit clash from the men, all the three women — Pinki Rani (51kg), Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) cruised into the finals.READ | Indian Boxing League: Gujarat Giants Tame NE Rhinos In Close Contest For Second WinThe only setback for India was the defeat of Sachin in 81kg. With eight Indian boxers having already sealed their final places a day before, India will now have a total of 15 boxers aiming for the gold medal. Krishan continued his comeback in style as he dominated the 69kg semi-final bout against Nepal’s Bikash Lama whom he trounced 5-0. Bangladesh’s Chakma Sura Krishna proved no match for Varinder Singh in 60kg as the latter easily pummelled him into submission, notching up a 5-0 win. Sparsh Kumar (52kg) also impressed in his bout with local hope Tej Bahadur Deuba and hardly broke a sweat in recording a 5-0 victory.READ | Boxing: Dillian Whyte Talks About Offering Deontay Wilder $50 Million+ Dollars For A FightIn the super heavyweight category, India had no trouble as Narender swatted aside the challenge of Sri Lanka’s Addurakaram Rallage Buwaneka Eranda 5-0. Sachin Kumar was the only one from the Indian boxing contingent who failed to reach the final. Sachin suffered a cut in the first round of his 81kg bout against Nepal’s Ganesh Pradhan and then bowed out 2-3 in a split verdict in a gritty contest.READ | Indian Boxing League Moves To Delhi With Double Header On SaturdayWomen boxers quash Pakistan’s hopeAmong the women, Pinki Rani dashed the hopes of Pakistan’s Aziz Razia Bano with a solid flurry of punches that gifted her a 5-0 win to enter the 51kg final. Both Sonia Lather (57kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) were at their aggressive best and the referee had to stop the contest in the second round against Pakistan’s Mehreen and Perveen Rukhsana respectively.The finals will be played over two days. On Monday, India’s Kalaivani (48kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) from the women and Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Sachin (56kg), Manish Kaushik (64kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg), and Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) from the men will be fighting for the gold.READ | Gujarat Giants Beat Odisha Warriors In Indian Boxing League COMMENTcenter_img Last Updated: 9th December, 2019 11:59 IST Record: 15 Indian Boxers Reach Final For Gold At South Asian Games Indian boxer Pinki Rani dashed hopes of Pakistan’s Aziz Razia Bano with a solid flurry of punches that gifted her a 5-0 win to enter the 51kg final WATCH US LIVE First Published: 9th December, 2019 11:59 IST FOLLOW USlast_img read more

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Man United’s Juan Mata ‘happy to be luxury player’ after Mourinho doubts

first_imgJuan Mata has defended his style after being sold by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in 2014, telling The Times he is happy to be considered a “luxury player” given his record in front of goal for Manchester United.Mata, 27, was warned by Mourinho in September 2013 that he would have to “adapt” to play alongside the Portuguese coach’s preferred No. 10 Oscar, despite being named the club’s Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.But the Stamford Bridge boss decided to accept a £37.1 million offer from United for the Spain international in January 2014, telling Mata that United was a “good option” for him.Mourinho also sold Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg in January 2014 — who starred in Germany and is now impressing back in England following a £58m move to Manchester City — while fellow creative players Andre Schurrle, Juan Cuadrado and Mohamed Salah have all struggled at Chelsea.Last season’s PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard was dropped for Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday by Mourinho until his defending improves, with the defending champions sitting 10 points behind league leaders Man City after nine games.However, Mata — who has scored 18 goals and set up another 11 in 57 Premier League appearances for United, and was named the club’s Player of the Month for September — does not mind being considered a “luxury player” with his stats. “If a luxury player is a player who scores and assists and has good stats, then I’m happy to be a luxury player,” he said at a Special Olympics project in Madrid.Mata has either scored or assisted 74 goals in the past five seasons — a higher total than any other Premier League midfielder during that period — and says that “creative players” are unfairly blamed for defeats.”I’ve scored as many goals for Manchester United in the Premier League as for Chelsea, but in something like 30 games less,” he said. “In terms of scoring and assisting I’m quite happy with the stats, and stats don’t lie. They are facts.”I want luxury players in my team. I like creative players, and players who do different things. It’s easy to say certain players are luxuries, especially when you’ve lost a game. When you lose, a certain kind of player — the creative players — always get the blame.” Mata — who has been operating predominantly in a wide-right position this season under Louis van Gaal — said that he was not given an explanation for his Chelsea exit, but is grateful for his time at Stamford Bridge and is targeting future silverware with United.”I’ve not tried to prove anyone wrong,” he added. “I didn’t speak with Mourinho like he has spoken with you, for example. I never had any explanations and didn’t ask for them.”But what is past is past. I will always be very grateful to Chelsea for everything they did for me, but I had a chance to join a great club and am enjoying it here.”I’ve got a good record with goals and assists and hopefully we can reach a point where we win trophies, which is what I did at Chelsea.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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Review: 5 key notes from Hearts-Kotoko game in Accra

first_imgKotoko beat Hearts of Oak in Accra  in the league for the second time in less than a year. The Phobians came into the game on the back of a morale boosting win over Ashantigold while Kotoko were deflated after losing at home to Edubiase.However the scripts were different as Kotoko emerged victorious courtesy a Soulama Abdoulaye own goal. Joy Sports Kweku Arhin takes us through five talking points in the gameSOULAMA IN A MESS BUT MOST RECOVER QUICKLYOn May 25, 2008 an out of sorts and out of form Accra Hearts of Oak under Israeli Eyal Lachman scored three first half goals through Eric Gawu, Francis Bossman and Don Bortey against a free scoring an in-form Kotoko who had the likes of Eric Bekoe, Kojo Poku and Stephen Oduro in their ranks. The game ended 3-3 but the obvious talking point was the surprise half time substitution of then Kotoko keeper Soulama Abdoulaye who did next to nothing to prevent the three goals. Hearts failed to score after the break and the Kotoko faithful have never forgiven Soulama Abdoulaye. Some accused him of taking a bribe while others feel he was manipulated in another realm. Fast forward some eight years later and also in the same month, and Soulama has once again become the victim. This time a more glaring error. Call it a miscue or a miskick but the bottom line is that Soulama shot himself and his team in the foot with an unpardonable own goal. His crestfallen nature and tears are testament to a man who was aware of the grave error he cost his side. Many have interpreted this goal in various ways. While others perceive this be a Mallam goal, others have seen him to have used the wrong technique, while Ghana keeper Fatau Dauda has sided with Soulama saying he used the right technique but was just unlucky. I personally cannot fathom this error and cannot find the true cause of this. It could be Dauda’s presence, it could be a lapse in concentration, it could be the pitch, it could be his boots, it could be something just something, Soulama knows best. The bottom line is that Soulama has been in this situation before and has the ability to recover and provide stops to earn points for the Phobians.MICHAEL OSEI KEEPS TO BASICS AND WINS TACTICAL BATTLE The first half an hour of the game had both sides even in terms of numbers and Michael Osei won the battle tactically. The use of Eric Donkor and Frank Sarfo Gyamfi have been constant ever since he took the role as acting head coach but their role against Hearts won the tactical battle  for the Porcupines. Hearts wide men, Eric Kumi and Isaac Mensah, narrowed the pitch by coming inside while defending afforded Donkor and Gyamfi to stretch the pitch in a way Hearts could not cope. Stephen Nyarko and Theophilus Nyame constantly by passed the midfield press of Hearts by hitting diagonals to each flank. Time and again they found their men and the wide men could have punished Hearts with more incisive crosses. When his side went down to 10 men, Osei switched to a 4-4-1 formation with Dauda Mohammed the long ranger. Kotoko mixed short passes with a more direct passes to Dauda Mohammed who was a handful for Hearts because of his pace and strength. Nothing extra ordinary from Michael Osei. He kept to the basics, exploited the flanks, exploited the skill set of Dauda Mohammed and proved effective. OBED OWUSU DESERVES CREDITThe Kotoko striker has come in for a lot of criticism following his abysmal form infront of goal. But yesterday’s game as Michael Osei put was won tactically and the best player in that regard was Obed Owusu. The former Berekum Chelsea striker started up top with Dauda Mohammed but constantly dropped into midfield to apply pressure on Mustapha Essuman and Sarbah Laryea. Kotoko dominated the early stages as a result of this and Hearts only found their feet after Essuman wriggled his way out of trouble with a couple of deft touches. After the red car, Owusu was deployed on the left hand of midfield and many thought he will be substituted as time went. Rather, he grew into the position holding up play and most importantly providing defensive cover for Eric Donkor. He was seen in his own half providing block tackles and doing the dirty work. Two roles well executed by Owusu. A perfect team player.  HEARTS HAVE A GEM IN ISAAC MENSAHMuch talk in the build up to the game had been centered around Cosmos Dauda but Hearts best player by a mile was Isaac Mensah. The skillful started out wide but time in time out, came in central with the ball to provide a creative threat for the Phobians. His pace and most importantly his trickery proved a handful for Kotoko and in particular Edwin Tuffour Frimpong who was sent off as a result of the youngster. Mensah was not shy to ask for the ball neither was he shy to take on his men. His defensive duties were also not abandoned as he fell back to a form a second line of four in the Hearts midfield. A gem, one for the future who can go places. His end product can however can be worked on to make him to all round footballer. HEARTS MUST STRIVE TO KEEP OLLENU ASHITTEY FITIn a surprise move by Kenichi Yatsuhashi, defensive midfielder Sarbah Laryea came off for winger Ashittey Ollenu. It was a surprise considering Hearts had two wingers (Eric Kumi and Isaac Mensah) on the pitch. Ollenu took a central midfield role and it was unfortunate Soulama Abdoulaye was sent off immediately after his entry. However, Ollenu made an impact to vindicate the substitution by Kenichi. He drove the heart of midfield with his direct running and pace and sliced open the Kotoko defence a couple of occasions. He brought an additional attacking threat for the Phobians and destabilized the Kotoko line when he run at them. His best move freed Kennedy Appiah was cross was side footed wide by Dauda by all the play was down to Ollenu’s running with the ball. He is a useful asset for the Phobians and a potential game changer. It is expedient he is kept fit for the rest of the campaign.–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img read more

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NBA free agency rumors: Mavericks acquiring Delon Wright from Grizzlies in sign-and-trade deal

first_img Related News NBA trade news: Bulls acquire Tomas Satoransky from Wizards Guard Delon Wright is signing a three-year, $29M deal to play for Mavs, agent Greg Lawrence tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 7, 2019The 6-5 guard had spent all three of his NBA seasons with the Raptors until he was traded to the Grizzlies in 2018-19 as part of a deal centering around Marc Gasol. Although Wright was a reserve for Toronto, his move to Memphis thrust him into the spotlight.Wright, 27, averaged just 6.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game with the Raptors in 18.3 minutes per contest. But that shot up to 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds while tallying 30.8 minutes per game with the Grizzlies. He recorded career single-game highs in points (26), rebounds (13), assists (14) and notched his first triple-double during his 26 games with Memphis. Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Rockets in pursuit despite deal being a ‘long shot’center_img Dallas is solidifying its backcourt.Delon Wright has agreed to a three-year, $29 million sign-and-trade deal that will send the restricted free agent from the Grizzlies to the Mavericks, his agent told ESPN Sunday. Dallas’ backcourt will center around 2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, but the Mavericks have also gathered some complimentary pieces to support him. They signed Seth Curry to a four-year deal in free agency this offseason and acquired Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks before February’s trade deadline. While Dallas did lose top target Kemba Walker to the Celtics, it still has Kristaps Porzingis in its back pocket.The Mavericks ranked 14th in the Western Conference in 2018-19 — finishing with a 33-49 record. But it appears to be making moves to keep up in a constantly improving field.last_img read more