Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

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Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Notre Dame has watched the tape, and feel they have an advantage against Alabama's secondary.
Most of that tape, though, is of Johnny Manziel's wizardry in Texas A&M's upset win over the Tide in November. For all the strides he's made in the last two months, Everett Golson is not Johnny Manziel. Still, both are young, elusive quarterbacks who can run, so the comparisons have been drawn.
"Hes a great quarterback," Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner said of Golson. "He makes plays last longer by using his legs. Any time youve got a dual-threat quarterback that can run and pass the ball like he does, they can be a challenge at any time because he can make plays last longer with his legs."
Linebacker C.J. Mosley noted how Manziel's scrambles and dashes out of the pocket got Alabama's defense out of its zones, gaps and contains against Texas A&M. It's plays like those that led Irish running back Theo Riddick to say Friday he thinks the Irish have an advantage over Alabama's secondary.
Accurate claim or not, Alabama's certainly aware of its mistakes against Manziel and using those to prepare for Golson. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart pointed out a play against Boston College where Golson scrambled right and threw to a wide open John Goodman in the end zone as a challenge for his defense.
"They lost him. To (the secondary's) credit that creates a different angle of the offense that's hard to prepare for. It's hard to simulate that, simulate a play that extends that long. You can't do it, you really can't."
So the goal for Alabama will be to pressure Golson and to restrain him from dancing outside the pocket. Golson can probably expect an array of blitzes he hasn't seen on tape as part of Alabama's effort to make him uncomfortable.
Perhaps a tougher aspect for Alabama to achieve will be to mute Tyler Eifert's production. The senior tight end has come on strong as of late, finally forging a relationship with Golson to the point where he's the go-to safety net. Eifert figured Alabama hasn't seem a player like him this year, a claim which Mosley backed up with the agreement of his defensive coordinator.
"They do a great job with what they do of getting No. 80 the ball," Smart said. "It forces you to do things that you're not used to doing."
Milliner, by the way, compared Eifert to ex-South Carolina and current Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. That's probably more accurate than comparing Golson to Manziel, although if Notre Dame gets the same result Texas A&M had, that argument won't matter.

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

University of Illinois starting pitcher Cody Sedlock was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday.

The junior from Sherrard, Ill., led the conference in strikeouts (116) and innings pitched (101.1).

He is the fifth Illini pitcher to take home the award, following Tyler Jay who was given the honor last year — and later went on to be picked No. 6 overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2015 MLB draft. It's the second time in program history that an Illini pitcher has won the award in back-to-back seasons.

The right-hander Sedlock is projected by many to be a first-round selection in the upcoming MLB draft on June 9.

Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

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Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

Loyola women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes is under investigation for coaching practices at the university.

The investigation was sparked after 10 of the team's 12 players have transferred or have requested releases — nine having been recruited by Swoopes. Loyola began an "independent and comprehensive university investigation" on April 15.

According to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, five former players have stated that Swoopes' "unusual coaching style" was the reason behind their exits.

Swoopes has declined to comment on any allegations, according to Ryan. Loyola released the following statement on Thursday:

"Until the investigation is completed, the athletics department and women's basketball coaching staff are conducting business as usual as we prepare for the 2016-2017 season."

Swoopes is listed as one of the greatest WNBA players of all-time. She was hired to coach Loyola's women's basketball team in 2013.

Click here to read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.

NCAA final rematch: Loyola-Lewis in men's volleyball MIVA semis Wednesday on CSN+

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NCAA final rematch: Loyola-Lewis in men's volleyball MIVA semis Wednesday on CSN+

A rematch of the 2015 NCAA men's volleyball final between Loyola and Lewis will be aired on CSN+ on Wednesday at 7 p.m..

The two-time defending NCAA Champion Loyola men's volleyball team will take on Lewis, which the Ramblers defeated in five games in last year's final, in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association tournament semifinal.

The two Chicagoland schools are again among the best teams in the country with the Ramblers currently ranked No. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll and the Flyers coming in at No. 12. Loyola is the No. 2 seed in the tournament while the Flyers hold the No. 4 seed.

This is the fifth straight year the two teams have met in the MIVA tournament, including meeting in the tournament final each of the past three years.

Local products feature heavily on both teams. Jeff Jendryk, a graduate of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, leads the Ramblers with 266 kills, Cary-Grove grad Jake Selsky leads Loyola with 180 digs and Ricky Gevis (Benet Academy) has 174 kills. Key Chicagoland players for Lewis include kills-leader Mitch Perinar (Minooka), blocks-leader Bobby Walsh (Mt. Carmel), digs-leader Jake Walenga (Lincoln-Way North) and setter Scott Fifer (Sandburg).