Southern Utah rolls past North Dakota 79-67

Southern Utah rolls past North Dakota 79-67

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) Jackson Stevenett scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping Southern Utah start Big Sky Conference play with a 79-67 victory over fellow conference newcomer North Dakota on Monday night.

Stevenett added a team-leading five assists. Wade Collie chipped in a career-high 18 points off the bench for the Thunderbirds (3-6), and Damon Heuir had 13.

Aaron Anderson led North Dakota (2-7) with 16 points but was just 3 of 9 from the field, part of a 30 percent team shooting effort. Mitch Wilmer had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

In the first-ever meeting between the schools, Southern Utah never trailed after the opening minutes, but Alonzo Traylor's jumper pulled North Dakota within 62-59 with 3:56 left. An A.J. Hess 3-pointer and a Stevenett layup gave the Thunderbirds some breathing room, and Southern Utah hit nine free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

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Prediction and preview for Raiders at Ravens

Prediction and preview for Raiders at Ravens

What: Raiders (2-1) vs. Ravens (3-0)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: M & T Bank Stadium

Injuries:

Ravens – RB Kenneth Dixon (knee), CB Sheldon Price (thigh), and LT Ronnie Stanley (foot) are doubtful; WR Kamar Aiken (thigh), OLB Elvis Dumervil (foot), WR Devin Hester (thigh), LG Alex Lewis (concussion), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), G John Urschel (shoulder) are questionable.

Raiders – S Nate Allen (quad), OT Austin Howard (ankle), OT Menelik Watson (calf) are out; C Rodney Hudson (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OT Matt McCants (knee) are questionable.

Five questions to ask:

1. How badly will Stanley’s injury hurt the Ravens’ offense?

The guess is that Stanley won’t play, and even if he does, he won’t be 100 percent. Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack is one of the NFL’s best pass rushers. If James Hurst starts at left tackle, the Ravens will have to give him help to deal with Mack.

2. Will Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele punish his former teammates?

Osemele is one of the league’s best and most physical linemen, and he talked about pancaking some of the Ravens this week. He also says the Ravens didn’t try hard to keep him during free agency, and Osemele has a long memory. There could be some thunderous collisions between Osemele and Ravens’ defenders. If Osemele loses his composure, it will hurt the Raiders, who lead the NFL in penalties.

3. Will Ravens’ corners Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright give up the homerun ball to the Raiders?

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr loves to throw deep, and he torched the Ravens for 351 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper beat Smith during a 37-33 Raiders’ victory. Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree has superb hands, and both he and Cooper topped 100 yards against the Ravens last year. The Ravens’ secondary has improved, with Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb taking over as the starting safeties. But the Raiders will try to isolate Smith and Wright, looking for a big play or two that could make the difference.

4. With OLB Elvis Dumervil returning to action, will the Ravens’ pass rush be dominant?

The Ravens have gotten good pressure on quarterbacks without Dumervil, led by Terrell Suggs and Timmy Jernigan with three sacks each. Now Dumervil is ready for his 2016 debut, after missing the first three games recovering from foot surgery. Carr could face a lot more pressure in the pocket than he did against the Ravens last year.

5. Can the Ravens finally have a breakout game offensively?

The Raiders rank dead last in the NFL on defense, yielding 436 yards per game. The Ravens only have four touchdowns all season. It’s time for quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense to put four quarters together.

Prediction:

Ravens 30, Raiders 20 – Being at home, and getting a consistent pass rush on Carr, should allow the Ravens to remain unbeaten.

RELATED: Stanley misses 3rd straight practice, question mark for Sunday

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More talk of Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach - but this time on college level

More talk of Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach - but this time on college level

When LSU fired head coach Les Miles, a lot of big-time names were suggested for the job. But what about Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay?

Albert Breer of the MMQB listed McVay as a potential candidate, along with a host of other NFL names to go with obvious college options like Tom Herman or Lane Kiffin. From Breer on McVay:

His star has risen so quickly that the 30-year-old may be an NFL head coach before colleges even get the chance to call, but he’d make a lot of sense for a program looking for energy and buzz.

Watching McVay work it's obvious he has the passion and ability to connect with young players - as he currently runs the Redskins offense that includes some players older than him. But it's worth keeping in mind the Redskins coordinator was raised around the pro game, not the college one, and with his background and offensive acumen the guess here is that McVay will stay in the professional ranks. 

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Even while scoring is down for Washington through three games, the Redskins offense is moving the ball well. QB Kirk Cousins is second in the league in passing yards, and the team finished 2015 with the 10th highest scoring offense.

"I’m sure he’ll be a head coach a lot sooner than people think," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said of McVay in an early August MMQB article.

It's clear McVay will get a chance as a head coach, the only question is where. Apparently that list could now include Baton Rouge. 

NOTE: Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also landed on Breer's list of LSU possibilities. From Breer, "Would Shanahan go? He’s 37 and he’s been an OC for nine years, so it’s possible he’d want to get his feet wet as a head coach. Remember, [Texans coach Bill] O’Brien went to Penn State after knocking on the door for NFL jobs, so it’s not hard to see another rising young guy doing it. Shanahan played at Texas and coached at UCLA, which means he’s not foreign to big college programs."