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Oklahoma vs. Oregon: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, Alamo Bowl odds, spread

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Two one-time contenders for the College Football Playoff meet Wednesday as No. 14 Oregon and No. 16 Oklahoma spar in San Antonio, Texas, for the Alamo Bowl. Both the Sooners and Ducks lost two critical games down the stretch to fall out of the playoff race late in the season, but the Alamo Bowl still features two of the most talented teams in the nation. 

The Alamo Bowl press conference featured one of the more bizarre scenes in recent memory as then-Oregon coach Mario Cristobal failed to take questions from the media just hours before accepting the Miami job. On the OU side, Bob Stoops took part in the availability as the Sooners tried to pick up the pieces of a bizarre coaching search after Lincoln Riley left for USC. 

Oregon will be without a number of key players as defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux, receiver Devon Williams and cornerback Mykael Wright all declared for the NFL Draft. Cornerback DJ James and rotation defensive tackle Jayson Jones entered the transfer portal. Oklahoma lost three defensive starters of its own to the NFL Draft: linebacker Nik Bonitto, defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey and linebacker Brian Asamoah. 

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Oklahoma vs. Oregon: Need to know

Coaching turnover: The Alamo Bowl features two programs which are not used to losing coaches. However, Riley and Cristobal both opted to leave playoff-caliber gigs for greener pastures. Legendary Sooners coach Bob Stoops will be taking the reins on the OU sideline, while passing game coordinator Bryan McClendon gets the temporary job for Oregon. There’s no telling how the coaching situation will shape the game. Defensive masterminds Brent Venables and Dan Lanning are set to take over Oklahoma and Oregon, respectively, beginning next season. 

QB mismatch: Oklahoma starter Caleb Williams ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the nation out of high school, and No. 1 before Quinn Ewers reclassified. He has lived up to expectations, throwing for 1,670 yards, 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions while adding 408 yards and six scores on the ground. Quarterback was a consistent issue for Oregon as Anthony Brown threw for 2,683 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions as the full-time starter. In the Pac-12 title game, he was awful with a pair of interceptions and just 147 yards passing. If Williams wins the battle, Oklahoma will likely run away with the game. 

Running back battle: With several key receivers either out to the NFL or the transfer portal, Oklahoma and Oregon’s elite running games take center stage. Travis Dye took control of the Ducks’ running back room after C.J. Verdell’s injury and rushed for 1,118 yards and 15 touchdowns in relief. Kennedy Brooks put together his third 1,000-yard campaign after an opt-out season to provide a consistent offensive presence in a dysfunctional year. Especially with Thibodeaux and Winfrey out, the running backs should have plenty of creases. 

How to watch Alamo Bowl live

Game: Alamo Bowl
Date
: Wednesday, Dec. 29 | Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Location: Alamo Dome — San Antonio, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Alamo Bowl prediction, picks

Featured Game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oregon Ducks

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Oklahoma will have major advantages with multiple staff members staying behind and the ever-motivated Stoops at the helm. It’s hard to anticipate Oregon’s headspace for this game, especially after losing talented pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux to the NFL Draft. The motivation edge could decide the game. Prediction: Oklahoma (-4.5)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.

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Stat Trolls Tua Tagovailoa As He Tries To Make A Change

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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

 

Much is left to be desired from Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

In two NFL seasons, the former Alabama standout has amassed 4,467 yards and 27 touchdowns.

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However, he has thrown 15 interceptions, which put him in a bad light.

But there have been changes that can turn the tide for him in 2022.

First, he will have an offensive-minded head coach in Mike McDaniel.

Second, they gave him more targets downfield like Cedrick Wilson, Chase Edmonds, and Tyreek Hill.

Third, the Dolphins also improved the protection around him with offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Connor Williams.

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Those additions should help him rise above this eye-popping comparison.

The NFL on CBS tweeted that Odell Beckham Jr. has more 30-yard passes (2) for touchdowns than Tagovailoa (1).

While the claim may sound dubious, it should motivate Tagovailoa to throw more deep balls and to trust his teammates.

He has no excuse to falter, especially after getting everything he needs on offense.

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Likewise, he should build more confidence to throw the deep ball with ease.

Doing so will help him overtake Beckham on that statistic.

 

No Excuse For Failure

Coming into his third NFL season, Tagovailoa will be compared to his NFL Draft classmates Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert.

The former has already led the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl stint while Herbert has become Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Those are the lofty standards that Tagovailoa should live up to if he wants the Dolphins to take the next step.

Gone are the days of finding an alibi because he already has several weapons around him.

Therefore, Tagovailoa should make a significant jump in performance to make the front office consider him as a long-term option.

The post Stat Trolls Tua Tagovailoa As He Tries To Make A Change appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Chargers HC Brandon Staley Is Pushing The Envelope

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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

 

The NFL has been changing and evolving over the years, as it has become more of a pass-friendly league through the past decade or two.

Part of that evolution has been the offensive philosophy on fourth down, which was, until recently, strictly a punt-only situation.

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But now, more and more teams are going for it on fourth downs, and Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is one of the men who is leading the way in that department.

Last season, his team went for it on fourth down 34 times, which was third in the NFL.

But the Chargers went for it on 31.5 percent of their fourth downs, the highest percentage in the league.

Staley explained his mindset regarding such situations in an interview with Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

“There has to be a fearlessness to play in this game, and what I wanted to establish was that,” Staley says. “The history of this team when I got here, it was like someone’s going to get hurt, they’re going to blow a lead, something catastrophic is going to happen. There’s this ‘Chargering’ thing. There’s all of these external factors that I know in my life, they’re just all excuses. They’re just all excuses.

“And so, how do you change that? Well, you have to do things different, you have to have a different approach. … Our mindset’s going to be on us, it’s not going to be on the opponent. It’s going to be on us. So creating that fearless mindset of, we are going to be aggressive, we’re going to put the ball in our hands, we’re going to trust our guys to make plays.

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“If we lose, we’re going to do it on our terms, not someone else’s terms.”

There is certainly an argument to be made for leaving your offense on the field during a fourth down, but some feel the Chargers overdid it last season, and in doing so, possibly cost themselves a playoff berth.

 

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword?

For most of the NFL’s century-plus history, teams usually only went for it on fourth down if it was in a desperate situation at the end of a game where it was down to its last chance.

But over the last several years, that has been changing, as fourth-down attempts have been rising, as have fourth-down conversion rates.

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Analytics, which have taken over multiple team sports over the past decade-plus, has been a big factor in this change in philosophy.

Staley is absolutely right when he says that fearlessness must be present in order to win in the NFL, even more than in baseball, basketball, hockey or any other team sport.

But sometimes, one’s aggressiveness can go from his greatest asset to his greatest flaw, as it can be a double-edged sword.

With quarterback Justin Herbert running and gunning his way to a Pro Bowl appearance in just his second pro season, L.A. forged an 8-5 record and had a real shot at finishing first in the AFC West.

Its next contest in Week 15 versus the Kansas City Chiefs was billed as the that would likely decide the division winner.

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But in the first half, the Chargers failed to convert on two fourth-down situations inside the Kansas City 10-yard line, and they trailed 14-10 at intermission.

They failed on another fourth-down conversion attempt in the second half, and given that they lost 34-28 in overtime after leading 21-13 in the fourth quarter at one point, those failed attempts look bad in retrospect.

Then came the season-finale versus the Las Vegas Raiders, which was a doozy.

The Chargers converted six of seven fourth-down attempts, but the one they failed on was one even Staley may have wanted to take back.

The argument in his favor is that Herbert is an MVP-caliber QB who is turning into a clutch signal-caller, as evidenced in that contest against the Raiders.

But even with someone as talented as Herbert on your side, sometimes a bit of caution is a good thing.

The post Chargers HC Brandon Staley Is Pushing The Envelope appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Kevin Durant shuts down 'comical' retirement rumors | UNDISPUTED

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According to Marc Stein, an NBA executive was hearing that Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play for the Brooklyn Nets again. However, Durant went to Twitter to shoot down that notion, tweeting quote: ‘I know most people will believe unnamed sources over me but if it’s anyone out there that’ll listen, I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.’ Durant would go on to say the situation as a whole is quote: ‘comical.’ Shannon Sharpe weighs in on the soap opera-like reports, including why it is not a good look on KD.



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