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Freshman walk-on becomes USC hero

first_imgBrian Chin | Daily TrojanAs confetti rained down on the Trojans after January’s Rose Bowl Game, no one thought placekicking would be an issue for USC in 2017. After all, Matt Boermeester had just written himself into Trojan lore, splitting the uprights from 46 yards out as time expired to win the Granddaddy of Them All, and he looked to repeat the feat next year — this time in the national championship game. Then Boermeester was expelled from the University due to a student conduct issue, and the Trojans suddenly found themselves on the hunt for a national title without a reliable kicker. Head coach Clay Helton gave redshirt freshman Michael Brown the first shot at the job during fall camp, but the scholarship kicker couldn’t beat out a freshman walk-on from Mater Dei High School. Just before USC’s season opener against Western Michigan, Helton announced Chase McGrath had won the gig. Two weeks later, McGrath ran onto the field against Texas and knocked through his first two career field goals: one to tie the score as time expired and one to win the game in double-overtime as the Trojans beat the Longhorns 27-24.“[McGrath] doesn’t play like a freshman,” Helton said following the victory. “What an unbelievable job.” It was already an incredibly unlikely sequence of events, but Saturday’s ending was even more remarkable given the start of the day, when McGrath attempted his first career college field goal in the second quarter of a scoreless game. He left it short and wide left. It was a 46-yarder — a tough assignment for a debut attempt — but McGrath brushed off the weight of the moment.“[The first kick] was a really good learning experience,” he said. “I kind of rushed it a little bit, but once I slowed down and really found my rhythm, it was good.”The freshman’s unflappability took many by surprise, but it proved to be a valuable asset down the line as McGrath was called on to save the Trojans not long after his disappointing first kick. The Longhorns led by 3 points with two seconds left on the clock, and McGrath was tasked with knocking through a 31-yard attempt. With everything on the line and an earlier miss on his mind, the walk-on still managed to keep a cool head. “[Nerves] didn’t kick in that much,” McGrath said. “I treat every kick the same.”It’s hard to believe, but the results backed up the attitude. Somehow, McGrath was able to step up yet again with a chance to win the game in overtime and nail a 43-yard kick. Texas head coach Tom Herman even called timeout before the attempt to let McGrath’s nervousness build on the sideline. It didn’t matter. “I kind of think it’s funny because it gives me more time to lock in,” McGrath said.Indeed, he came out of the timeout and improved vastly on his first boot of the game — this one had plenty of distance and snuck inside the right upright — and the Trojans mobbed their kicker as confetti shot into the sky and covered the grass. The Los Angeles haze seemed like the  ghosts of the Rose Bowl, swirling around the Coliseum floodlights.It remains to be seen if McGrath will carry over his impressive performance through the rest of the season. As the year goes on, he may have to kick in windier and much colder conditions, and he has yet to kick outside the friendly confines of his home stadium, and with the high expectations facing USC, the freshman will undoubtedly see more opportunities to be the hero — or the goat.But after all the uncertainty that surrounded USC’s kicking game leading into this fall, it appears the Trojans have found their man. Following the game, Helton was asked if he had a scholarship available to offer McGrath. The head coach chuckled.“I need to find one,” he said.last_img read more

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bettingexpert stays in second despite strong showing at Ascot

first_imgbettingexpert and a rotation of guests will be providing expert tips for a specific Wednesday race meet.We will keep record of points won each week and the number of race wins for each.The guests will compete individually, with their points going up against the average total for bettingexpert.The new tips will be published on Wednesday ahead of the race meet, and the results will be available on Thursday.For the competition, we will assume that all selections are backed with 1 point.Lost tips will count as 0 and won bets will be added to the leaderboard at SP value.Each tipster will get a ‘Nap of the Day’ each week which scores double points.For example, if bettingexpert’s Stephen Harris backs a winning horse at 8/1, he will get 8 points; if he has put this horse forward as his ‘Nap of the Day’, the reward is 16 points. Submit RankTipsterRace WinsPoints Share StumbleUpon SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 Sharecenter_img Related Articles 1Sarah Shannon – OneBet210.38 2Stephen Harris – bettingexpert29.72 3Tim Reynolds – Sun Bets25.00 4Steven Mullington – 888sport24.57 5Ben Cleminson – Square in the Air24.50 6Charlie McCann – BetVictor12.25 7Alex Donohue – ODDSbible12.00 8Rupert Adams – William Hill10.50 Sportech highlights new client wins under lockdown June 26, 2020 Square in the Air director Ben Cleminson and bettingexpert’s Stephen Harris made a flying start in the Tipster Challenge at Ascot by sharing success across the first four races.However, neither managed to find the long odds winners in the final two races of the day, which left Harris in second place despite increasing his weekly average with a 12.00-point haul.Meanwhile, Cleminson had to be content with taking fifth place in the competition, sponsored by Betting Gods, after wins for Le Brivido in the opener and 5/2F Qemah in the 3.40.Race Winners at Ascot:Le Brivido – 2/1Heartache – 5/1Qemah – 5/2Highland Reel – 9/4Zhui Feng – 25/1Con Te Partiro – 20/1Tipster Challenge 2017 Leaderboard ‘Better for Bettors’: Better Collective’s formalised approach to sustainable development June 15, 2020last_img read more

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