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first_imgDEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoORLANDO, Fla. — John Stocco didn’t look like a winning quarterback after four quarters of dealing with Auburn’s harassing defensive front. Sizable grass stains adorned his right shoulder and each of his hips. His left bicep was marked with a raspberry. What gave away Stocco’s role in No. 22 Wisconsin’s 24-10 upset win over No. 7 Auburn in the Capital One Bowl, though, was the broad smile on his face.The junior passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns while completing 15-of-27 attempts to lead the Badgers — along with running back Brian Calhoun and wide receiver Brandon Williams — to a victory over the Tigers at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in head coach Barry Alvarez’s final game on the sidelines.”This feels unbelievable,” Stocco said on the field after the win. “I’m so proud of coach (Alvarez).”Calhoun rushed for 213 yards and a touchdown to earn game Most Valuable Player honors and Williams caught six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown to go along with 35 yards on the ground. But it was Stocco who led Wisconsin in building a 17-0 halftime lead, throwing for both of his touchdowns and directing another scoring drive that ended with a 19-yard field goal from Taylor Mehlhaff in the opening stanza.”He played very well,” said wide receiver Jonathan Orr, who was on the receiving end of four passes from Stocco for 74 yards. “Words can’t even express how well he played. Ever since the last game, ever since Hawaii, just his focus and his will to get a victory in this game was showing, and it rubbed off on the rest of us in practice. He played exceptionally well.”Stocco and the Badgers started fast, jumping out to a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter courtesy of a 30-yard catch-and-run from Stocco to Williams. Auburn, by contrast, looked like a team that hadn’t played since Nov. 19. Quarterback Brandon Cox had his first pass of the game intercepted by Levonne Rowan on the contest’s second snap, and standout running back Kenny Irons fumbled to halt the Tigers’ next possession. Irons finished with 88 yards on 22 carries, the first time he failed to reach the 100-yard barrier since Auburn’s matchup with South Carolina on Oct. 1.”What you try to do on defense is try to take away the other team’s strength, which is our running game,” Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said. “And they pretty much did that.”On the other side of the ball, the Tigers struggled mightily to contain Calhoun, who broke runs of 27, 60 and 33 yards against a defense that entered the matchup having allowed an average of just 104.4 yards per game on the ground.His 33-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter pushed the Wisconsin advantage back to 14 points after Cox had connected with Courtney Taylor to cut the lead to 17-10.But it was Stocco who came up with the clincher. With the Badgers facing a third-and-seven from their own four-yard line, Stocco hit Williams for a 36-yard completion despite throwing from the end zone with defenders at his feet.”I guess it was by far his best game,” Williams said. “He didn’t throw any picks, he had that one little fumble, he didn’t make too many mistakes, his balls were on target most of the game. He was doing a great job of managing the game, and I just give big props to him. He’s just really grown this year as a player, and I’m looking for big things out of him next year.”The completion extended what would prove to be the final drive of the game, ending any hopes of an Auburn comeback. And for a player who has taken his fair share of criticism from the public, the smile Stocco was flashing following the win provided perhaps the biggest answer to those skeptics.”He happens to play the toughest position in sports,” Alvarez said. “Everybody always wants the backup to play, and if you don’t complete a pass, there’s something wrong with you. John Stocco’s tough, he is a competitor … the stage, the magnitude of the game, the quality of the opposition and how well he performed today should squelch any further criticism. I thought he was fantastic.”last_img read more

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisTake a look at some of the top headlines and stories trending on social media for July 23.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Insights into Northeast Michigan: The Democratic Race for the 106th DistrictNext Upcoming Lecture Looks at Early Days of Presque Islelast_img

first_imgPep Guardiola says he is “like a woman” and will be able to juggle his current role at Bayern Munich with preparations for life at Manchester City from the summer.City confirmed Guardiola’s appointment on a three-year contract on Monday, ending months of speculation over where his next destination would be, with Chelsea and Manchester United also linked with him.The Catalan, who said on Friday that the first contact with City came “in May or June,” faces the challenge of ensuring his final season at Bayern ends with success on as many fronts as possible, while ensuring he hits the ground running at the Etihad Stadium in the summer.Asked how he would cope with that, he told reporters at a news conference: “I am like a woman, I can do two things at once. I can think of both situations, so it’s no problem for me.”The dream scenario of rounding off his Bayern reign with a Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Pokal Treble is still achievable, and Guardiola insisted his focus is very much on his work in Germany. “I had my first talks with [City] in May or June,” he said. “When I am in England, I will say more about it.”If people don’t trust me, then I can’t change that. I know this is new for Bayern Munich — a coach has never left them before, it has always been them getting rid of their coach. But I will be focusing on the team until my final day here, giving my best to the very last minute.”As well as the inevitable questions about his move to City, Guardiola was also asked about his relationship with his players amid reports of dressing-room tensions at Bayern.He called for more respect, insisting at the same time that he will not let anything interfere with his bid to win three more trophies before leaving the Bundesliga club in the summer. “I’ve experienced it already at Barcelona,” he said. “We coaches don’t earn respect any more in the world, no matter what we say. There are important newspapers here who have yet to ask me any questions about football.”Why don’t you write about all the many nice words I say to my players? Whenever I talk about my players, nobody is interested; I’m always being asked about other things.”Journalists need to know what they are here for. I love to talk about tactics — three at the back, four at the back and so on. But I know how to handle it and I will do that for the next four months.”Bayern director of sport Matthias Sammer had weighed in on some of the recent criticism by protecting Guardiola at a news conference earlier this week.Guardiola shrugged that off on Friday, though, saying: “Matthias was not defending me, he was defending the club. I can defend myself.” Guardiola also dismissed rumours in German media that Arturo Vidal was drinking during the club’s winter training in Qatar.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoyFMSports. Our hashtag is #JoySports “We were in Qatar and in the Arab countries alcohol is prohibited,” he said.last_img read more

first_img 3. Robinho: Real Madrid to Man City – Chelsea were said to be close to buying the Brazilian trickster, so when City swooped in 2008 it felt more like the club’s new owners had panicked and paid Real Madrid £32m just so they could land a big name. Robinho was the first of the new money bags era, but his Brazilian style was more Fred than Ronaldo and he was eventually sold to Milan in 2010, with the player claiming it was hard to adapt to English football. Click the arrow to see five infamous Premier League panic buys – Mario Balotelli was bought in a panic, according to former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, so how does he compare to other Premier League panic buys… 6 1. Andy Carroll: Newcastle to Liverpool – You’ve got £50m in your pocket and need to act fast in order to replace Fernando Torres, who scored 81 goals in 142 games for you. Liverpool’s answer was to spend £35m on inexperienced Newcastle striker Andy Carroll after Chelsea’s capture of Anfield hero Torres for £50m, with the Reds narrowly managing to beat the transfer deadline in January 2011. No club came out of it well, except for Newcastle, of course. Carroll scored six goals in 44 league games before he was sold to West Ham in 2013. 4. Roman Pavlyuchenko: Spartak Moscow to Tottenham – Spurs had sold Dimitar Berbatov to Man United and Robbie Keane to Liverpool in 2008 and were in need of someone who could score goals. In an interview in February, former Tottenham manager Juande Ramos claimed he asked chairman Daniel Levy for David Villa or Samuel Eto’o, but got Pavlyuchenko in at the last minute. He wasn’t a total flop, though, scoring 14 goals in all competitions in his first season. When he was sold to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2012, he managed 42 goals in 113 games. 6 6 6 6 Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks £16m striker Mario Balotelli will not be at the club next season, calling the summer signing a panic buy.The Italy international has scored just one goal for the club since his arrival late in August, joining a host of other new players following the sale of Luis Suarez.“They bring in Balotelli late on – it’s obviously a panic,” Carragher said.Here, talkSPORT looks at other club’s panic buys. 2. Marouane Fellaini: Everton to Man United – Time was running out for Man United to reinforce their midfield in 2013. Having seen their pursuit of Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara shut down, manager David Moyes decided against looking for the next best thing and bought Marouane Fellaini from Everton. Moyes, having left the Toffees earlier that summer, was aware Fellaini had a £23.5m release clause in his contract, but the deadline for that expired on 31 July and as the end of the transfer window approached, United splashed out a mouthwatering £27.5m. With 26 Premier League appearances to date, Fellaini has been made the scapegoat for a lot of the club’s failings, but he was the saviour against West Brom when his goal, two minutes after coming on, drew United level in a 2-2 draw. 6 5. Mikel Arteta: Everton to Arsenal – While some fans on social media lambast Arteta, his last minute transfer in 2011 looks like good business. The midfielder was appointed club captain at the start of the season and although he is no Cesc Fabregas – the current Chelsea man had joined Barca a few weeks earlier – he has displayed his worth and dedication to the club. Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos were bought and Yossi Benayoun joined on loan. last_img read more