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23.05.2018 14:50
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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had a message for Tigers fans worried about the teams too-close-for-comfort victory over Auburn last week: We won.Swinney and the second-ranked Tigers (1-0) look to do more of the same Saturday when they open their home season against Troy (1-0).Swinney understands the angst of supporters who dream of long touchdown passes, quick scores and points nearly every time the Tigers touched the ball. Now that it did not happen in Clemsons 19-13 season-opening win only means the stakes have risen dramatically for Swinneys team.Im sorry we disappointed them. Thats all I can tell them, Swinney said. We went to win the game and thats what we did.Swinneys not ignoring the mistakes and poor execution he saw at times in the win. There was a dropped TD pass and a fumble by Mike Williams, missed connections from quarterback Deshaun Watson to receiver Deon Cain and tight end Jordan Leggett and some failures on offense Clemson didnt have much last season.We werent quite as clean, Swinney said.Watson said any bobbles are things that can and will be worked out this week as Clemson tries for its 17th straight win at Death Valley. So its just a learning process, Watson said.Troy comes in off a 57-17 win over Austin Peay that coach Neal Brown said enfused them with confidence heading into week two.Were taking the field with belief, he said.---Things to watch when Troy plays at Clemson:CLEMSONS ROCK: The inspirational Clemson talisman, Howards Rock, turns 50 this season and will be honored by the program all year long. It was coach Frank Howard who in 1966 put the rock on a pedestal at the stadium, telling players if they werent willing to give maximum effort they should keep their filthy hands off of my rock. Ever since, Tigers have rubbed the rock before entering the field believing in the power and spirit of those whove gone before.USING THE WEAPONS: Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson figures to utilize many more players on offense than he did in the opener against Auburn. Look to receivers Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud, tight end Jordan Leggett and freshman running back Tavien Feaster to see more action against Troy. Clemsons offense averaged more than 500 yards and 40 points on the way to an Atlantic Coast Conference title. It put up 399 yards and 19 points at Auburn last week.DONT I KNOW YOU? It will be the second straight week Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney will see a defensive coordinator he used to employ. Last game, it was Kevin Steele who led Auburns defense and who was in charge of Clemsons group under Swinney from 2009 through 2011. This time, its Vic Koenning, who directs Troys defense and was at Clemson for four seasons from 2005 through 2008, including six games that final year when Swinney was elevated to interim coach. When Swinney gained the fulltime job, he told Koenning he would not be retained and the defensive assistant resigned before the bowl game. Koenning says he still has friends on staff, although he and Swinney have not maintained a relationship.LAST MEETING: Clemsons run to the top of the college football world started in earnest in 2011 in a season opener with Troy. The Tigers had come off their last losing season, 6-7 in 2010, and trailed Troy 16-14 at halftime with some disgruntled fans at Death Valley booing Swinney and the Tigers. Things turned around in the second half as Clemson rolled to a 43-19 win. The Tigers started 8-0 that season and won the ACC crown, starting a run of five straight seasons with 10-or-more victories.BUYING IN: Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and wife Kathleen donated $1 million to the schools booster group, IPTAY, in support of the football team. The fund-raising group helps pay for athletic scholarships. Swinney received a new contract in April that will pay him $30.75 million over six years. It also raised his salary $1.1 million from last year to this as hell make $4.55 million in 2016.---AP College Football website: Richie James Hoodie . The parade and rally were held to celebrate the Saskatchewan Roughriders 45-23 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday in the CFLs championship game. Marcell Harris Hoodie . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. . Kozun faked to the forehand and beat Monsters starter, Calvin Pickard, pad side in the second round for the winner. Spencer Abbott also scored in the shootout for the Marlies (25-13-4). Authentic 49ers Hoodies . It was the kind of score that might make everyone else wonder which course he was playing. Except that Graeme McDowell saw the whole thing. Crouched behind the 10th green at Sheshan International, McDowell looked over at the powerful American and said, "Ive probably seen 18 of the best drives Ive seen all year in the last two days. Jimmy Garoppolo Hoodie . Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San Antonio of the Texas League. CHICAGO -- Terry Francona is on the verge of ending another long World Series drought.Call him Mgr. October.Clevelands maestro of a manager, who has pushed all the right buttons this season and especially over the past few weeks, moved closer to capturing his third Series title as the Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 in Game 4 on Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead.Francona is the one who guided the Boston Red Sox around the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, helping them to their first title in 86 years. He led them to another three years later.And now hes got the resilient Indians on the edge of taking their first World Series in 68 years.The 57-year-old would never take any credit for Clevelands success, but the Indians wouldnt be where they are if not for Francona, who improved to 11-1 in World Series games.The guy everyone calls Tito -- his dads name -- claims he doesnt have a crystal ball. But he certainly seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to setting his lineup, pulling pitchers at just the right time and keeping his players focused.Hes at the front of all we do -- our attitude we take onto the field, the looseness we kind of carry ourselves and create the environment of having fun and being ourselves -- that all starts with him, said Jason Kipnis, whose three-run homer in the seventh blew the game open.Following Clevelands 1-0 victory in Game 3, a chess match with Chicagos Joe Maddon that he called one of the most agonizing games of his managerial career, Francona made the difficult decision of not starting first baseman Mike Napoli in Game 4.Hes like the heart and soul of our team, Francona said beforehand. It bothers me to sit him, a lot.Francona played Carlos Santana at first instead, and the move panned out when he homered leading off the second inning against John Lackey. And although his move proved to be wise, Francona wasnt happy he had to keep Napoli on the bench before using him as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Napoli flied out to the warning track in left-center.I still wasnt pleased that Nap didnt play, he said. But hell be in there tomorrow. His one at-bat, he took a really good swing that, I think, should help make him feel a little better going into tomorrow.Francona has been forced to be creative with his lineup during the three games at Wrigley Field, where the Indians have had to play by National League rules and couldnt use their designated hitter.He took a risk byy starting Santana in left field for Game 3 even though the former catcher had played just four innings in his career in left.dddddddddddd It worked, though, as Santana caught the only ball hit his way on a night when the wind was blowing out in Wrigley.That was probably the funnest moment of the game, Francona said of Santanas catch in the first. I was going crazy in the dugout. Then I thought I better cool it because there might be another one that finds him.None did, and Francona made several more astute moves in the first Series game at Wrigley in 71 years. He pulled starter Josh Tomlin in the fifth and ace reliever Andrew Miller came in and shut down the Cubs. And when Millers turn came up to bat, Francona sent in pinch-hitter Coco Crisp, who drove in the games only run.Of course he did.Francona also got a little lucky.He made so many double switches that he ran out of position players, and was going to have to bat Game 4 starter Corey Kluber.He almost used some guys that werent on the roster, joked Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway. I mean, theres no better manager in all of baseball than him. He thinks of everything at every moment. Ive learned so much from him.Francona knew just what to do with Kluber on Saturday night.Miller was throwing in the bullpen when Anthony Rizzo doubled leading off the sixth. Miller, who has been virtually unhittable in the postseason, was ready but Francona stayed with Kluber and he promptly retired the next three batters.Its been like that all month as the Indians, who have been overlooked despite running away with the AL Central, swept Boston, beat Toronto in five games and are now a win away from their first title since 1948.The Indians can almost taste the champagne, but Francona wont let them think too far ahead.Nothing changes. Were going to show up tomorrow -- the only thing that changes is well pack our bags, because were going to go home one way or the other, and well show up and try to beat a really good pitcher, and thats what we always do. Nothing needs to change.That 48 Cleveland team was managed by Lou Boudreau, who was also the clubs starting shortstop.Francona laughed before Game 4 when he was asked if he was ready to play short.Im just trying to handle managing, he said. That will be enough.Its been more than that. 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